Updated July 2023 – With the global travel restrictions finally beginning to ease, 2022 has been a reset for the travel and tourism industry. Countries around the world have started to welcome tourists back onto their shores and have started to embrace the return of tourism in their countries. However, with the positive outlook for 2023 and beyond, people’s perceptions and travel habits have seen a shift.

In today’s article, we’ve identified the 9 most prominent travel and tourism trends of 2023. These statistics will provide tour and activity operators with valuable insight to adapt their business to the latest trends.

The tourism and travel statistics below were gathered from a survey conducted by Rezdy.

2023 travel and tourism trends

1. Generational trends

There are always going to be differences in the interests and ways various age brackets travel. Find out what each generational demographic prioritizes during their most recent/upcoming trips.

Trends in tourism

  • Travelers aged 18-34 are the most likely to go big on their next trip (80% compared to 56% of travelers over 50) (Expedia)
  • Generation X travel behavior shows that travelers over 40 are more likely to travel with a significant other or multiple generations of family. Travelers under 40 are more likely to travel with a group of friends or solo (Evolve)
  • About 40% of Millennials pick holiday destinations based on how Instagrammable the pics will be. (passport-photo.online)
  • 45% Gen Zers trust influencers’ travel recommendations. (passport-photo.online)
  • 6 in 10 Gen Zs (56%) and Millennials (61%) are “influenced by the quality of the culinary scene when choosing where to stay in a destination. (Travelmarketreport)
  • 38% of Millennials indicate celebrities and digital content creators have a great deal of influence on their travel decisions (Travelmarketreport)
  • 57% of Millennials “have made a travel purchase based at least partially on a post by a celebrity or influencer (Travelmarketreport)

2. The top global destinations for every traveler

There are so many different types of travelers. Some prefer venturing to famous cities, while others may prefer natural destinations. Here are the top 3 destinations for every type of traveler.

travel and tourism statistics

Top 3 global trending destinations in 2022:

    • 1. Majorca, Balearic Islands
    • 2. Cairo, Egypt
    • 3. Rhodes, Dodecanese

The top 3 destinations for big-city lovers are

    • 1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    • 2. London, UK and
    • 3. Rome, Italy.
    • The top US destination for big city lovers is Las Vegas, Nevada


The top 3 destinations for food lovers:

    • 1. Rome, Italy
    • 2. London, United Kingdom
    • 3. Paris, France


The top 3 destinations for sun seekers because of pristine beaches and clear waters are:

    • 1. Cancun, Mexico
    • 2. Bali, Indonesia
    • 3. Crete, Greece
    • The top US destination for sun seekers is Oahu, Hawaii


The top 3 destinations for skiers are:

    • 1. Zermatt, Switzerland
    • 2. Jackson, Wyoming
    • 3. Banff, Alberta


The top 3 destinations for outdoor seekers:

    • 1. Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
    • 2. Jim Corbett National Park, India
    • 3. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania


3. Changes to the way people book

With the uncertainties that many travelers experienced during the pandemic, the way people use technology in the travel industry to research and book their experiences in 2022 has seen a slight change. Find out what they are.

features of an online booking system

  • 59% of travelers are booking trips 2-5 months in advance, compared to less than 2 months in advance in 2020 and 2021 (Evolve)
  • 62% of travelers plan on taking 3 or more trips in 2023 (Evolve)
  • The percentage of shoppers that abandon their travel purchase is 85% for desktop users and 91% for those buying on a mobile device (SalesCycle).
  • 72% of mobile bookings happen in the 48 hours following Google searches that include the words ‘tonight’ and ‘today’ (StratosJets)
  • In 2022, 64% of those booking online make online purchases on desktop and 44% make them on a mobile device. This shows a shift from 2021, when 59% of bookings were done on desktop and 41% on a mobile device (SalesCycle)
  • 70% of all travelers do their research on a mobile device (StratosJets)
  • Travelers visit 38 sites on average to finalize and book their travel plans (Skift)
  • 45% of travelers prefer booking a trip from start to finish from a single website that presents options for flights, accommodations, car rentals, and extras (Travelport)
  • Of travelers with 2022 travel plans, 47% say they won’t consider canceling until much closer to their trip dates and 32% plan to travel no matter what happens (Evolve
  • 66% is the revenue share of online sales in the global travel and tourism market (Statista)

4. What type of tours and activities are people booking?

After 2 years of not being able to travel and experience new adventures, travelers are sharing the types of activities they’re excited to try during their next trip. This has resulted in a noticeable shift in this year’s travel trends when compared to the travel statistics of 2021.

top travel trends

  • 11% of travelers are willing to try daring or high-adrenaline activities (Expedia)
  • 24% of travelers are looking for an unforgettable night out (Expedia)
  • 21% of travelers are most excited to try experiences they would usually never do, like: sleeping under the stars (19%), traveling alone (17%), skinny-dipping (11%), or having a vacation romance (10%) (Expedia)
  • 61% of travelers are most interested in outdoor activities (like hiking, biking, and kayaking) and wellness/relaxation experiences (Evolve)
  • About 20% of travelers worldwide plan to take more guided cultural activities than they did in 2019 (Trip Advisor). According to recent food tourism statistics, this fact also applies to cultural dining experiences.
  • Water sports experiences have seen +311% growth between 2019 & 2022 (Viator)
  • Cruise, sailing & water tours experiences have seen +122% growth between 2019 & 2022 (Viator)
  • 73% of people looking forward to trips ‘outside their comfort zone’ that push them to their limits, there will be an influx of niche experiences (Hospitaliy-on)
  • 93% travellers are willing to cut back on some aspects to save money on a trip, – such as gifts or souvenirs (65%), eating out (41%), transportation (36%), or accommodations (33%) – the majority (71%) are not willing to cut back on their activities and experiences. (PRnewswire)
  • 95% prefer to spend at least part of their trip on new and unique experiences (PRnewswire)
  • 68% of respondents said they’re prepared to “go big” on their next trip. (Invoca)
  • Travelers who book tours and activities on their phones spend 50% more than those who book elsewhere (Explodingtopics)


5. The latest industry trajectory

The industry is officially on track on the road to recovery. The President of Viator, Ben Drew recently shared at Arival 360 in Las Vegas, that all regions (excluding APAC) have reported that more operators are doing better than pre-pandemic levels. Discover the latest industry trajectory.

  • 58% of tourism professionals predict a travel rebound in 2022 (mostly in the third quarter) and 42% predict the rebound won’t happen until 2023 (UNWTO)
  • 64% of tourism experts predict international arrivals will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2024 or later (UNWTO)
  • 27% of travelers aim to spend more time at their destination in order to fully experience all it has to offer (Expedia)
  • 78% of travelers are now confident in international travel. While New Zealand remains firmly in the top spot for intent, the impact of that confidence is shifting intent from our neighbouring destinations toward long-haul destinations, with Europe and the US moving up the rankings. (Mediaweek)
  • Short-term international travel is rising quickly, with one to two weeks now the most popular length of time to travel for those planning on heading overseas. (Mediaweek)
  • The lowest price is back on the agenda, but peace of mind still trumps it for now with over 50% of travelers willing to pay more to ensure a safe and fun trip. (Mediaweek)
  • 32% say they’d rather take a vacation somewhere they’ve been before. (GWI)
  • 39% of them have already planned and booked a holiday to the destination inspired by where their favorite TV series or movie was filmed (Rate Hawk)
  • Travelers who book tours and activities on their phone spend 50% more than those who book elsewhere (Arival)
  • More than 50% of travelers say they would extend their business trip to enjoy personal time at their destination (Explodingtopics)

6. Bigger opportunities for distributions

Distribution shaping the tourism industry

We all know that broadening your distribution channels is one way to increase your booking levels. And in 2022, has been a great year for operators who are strategizing to expand their reach. Find out how the travel industry is performing in the distribution sector.

  • In US & Europe,  OTAs accounted for 32% of tour sales in 2022 (compared to 2019) and it is growing at a faster rate compared to other channels. (Arival)
  • The online travel industry generated revenue worth more than $800 billion in 2021. The travel industry is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.58% between 2021 and 2027 – when it’s expected to hit $1463.98 billion (GBTA)
  • The online travel market size worldwide reached the $433.2 billion mark in 2021, and it’s expected to reach $690.71 billion by 2026 (Statista)

Interested in broadening your distribution channels? Sign up to Rezdy Channel Manager today.

7. Technology shapes the future of travel and tourism

In the modern world we live in, technology has become a major part of our day-to-day lives. Find out how technology is shaping the experiences industry.

  • Global mobile users grew to 5.34 billion by the start of Q3 2022, with smartphones accounting for almost 4 in 5 of the mobile handsets in use today. (Datareportal)
  • Internet users have increased by 3.7% over the past 12 months, year-on-year growth of 178 million new users has pushed global internet penetration up to 63.1%. (Datareportal)
  • The global social media user base has increased by more than 5% over the past 12 months, with the latest global total now equivalent to 59% of the world’s total population. (Datareportal)
  • Mobile phones now account for 55.5% of the time we spend using the internet, up from 52% this time last year. (Datareportal)
  • 40% of the world’s travellers say they will turn to virtual reality next year to choose their holidays (Hospitaliy-on)
  • 35% say they will embark on a multi-day travel experience in Virtual or Augmented Reality (Hospitaliy-on)
  • 46% of travellers are more likely to travel to destinations they would not have previously considered after experiencing them virtually (Hospitaliy-on)
  • Travel tech adoption accelerates. Searches for “chatbot” have increased by 933% over the last 10 years. (see below graph) (Explodingtopics)

8. The power of social media

With Millennials and Gen Z sitting at the top of the list as the highest-spending travelers, it’s important to understand the platforms they use during their decision-making process.

Social media has taken the world by storm and is widely used as a platform by millennials and Gen Z for travel insights and inspiration. 

social media shaping the travel and tourism statistics

  • Roughly 52% of travelers decided to visit a specific destination after seeing its image/video from friends, family, or peers on social media. (passport-photo.online)
  • Every week, 1M+ travel-related hashtags are searched on Instagram. (passport-photo.online)
  • 69% of the worldwide population uses social media platforms for travel-related needs. (passport-photo.online)
  • Over 37% use social media specifically for travel inspiration. The most popular vacation inspiration sites are: Instagram (67%), Facebook (29%), TripAdvisor (14%) (passport-photo.online)
  • One in five travelers use social media to research: destination (27%), hotel (23%), vacation activities (22%), attractions (21%) & restaurants (17%) (passport-photo.online)
  • Online video consumption has increased from 1hr to 4hrs per day since April ‘2020…with 75% expecting to maintain that (Michelle Martin, Meta – Arival 360 Las Vegas)
  • US travelers using their brand for travel: 76% Insta & 73% FB (Michelle Martin, Meta – Arival 360 Las Vegas)

9. The rise in sustainable travel

Travelers nowadays are becoming more conscious and aware of the impacts their trips may have on the environment. In 2023, there was a larger push for more sustainable travel options and activities. Find out what sustainable travelers are looking for.

Tourism statistics

  • 83% of travelers are experiencing travel guilt about their past trips they now worry may not have been sustainable (passport-photo.online)
  • 67% of travelers claim they’ve purchased carbon offsets at least once when booking plane, bus, or train tickets in the past two years (passport-photo.online)
  • 89% of travelers claim they’ll travel more sustainably in the next 24 months. (passport-photo.online)
  • 81% of travelers confirm that sustainable travel is important to them, with 50% saying that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices (booking.com)
  • 59% of travelers say they want to leave the places they visit better than when they arrived, with 33% revealing that they chose to travel outside of peak season to avoid overcrowding (booking.com)
  • 64% of travelers say that they would avoid popular tourist destinations and attractions to ensure more even dispersal of the impact and benefits of their visit (booking.com)
  • 66% of travelers want to have experiences that are representative of the local culture. (booking.com)
  • 34% of travelers don’t know how or where to find activities or tours that ensure they are actually having a positive impact and giving back to the local community (booking.com)
  • Search data from Google shows a 70% rise in people searching for sustainable travel options (Ecoliv)
  • 83% of travelers firmly believe in the importance of sustainable travel. (Statista)
  • According to a Google report, tourism listings that include photos of the places to visit, receive 42% more requests than those that do not (social.com)
  • Furthermore, the same businesses also receive up to 35% more clicks to their websites than those businesses without a listing or photos attached. This is of utmost importance, especially for businesses that claim to be sustainable, as travelers would be reassured once they’ve seen some evidence (social.com)
  • By 2027, the ecotourism market is expected to reach $333.8 billion (Allied Market Research)
  • Recent data shows that more than half of US travelers believe there aren’t enough options when it comes to sustainable travel (Explodingtopics)
  • Searches for “sustainable travel” are up 226% over the last 5 years (Explodingtopics)
  • 91% of travelers see the importance of taking ethical trips (Explodingtopics)
  • 56% believe in buying souvenirs from local merchants (Explodingtopics)
  • 44% want to support local businesses at their destination (Explodingtopics)
  • Searches for “sustainable travel” are up 162% over the last 5 years. (see below graph) (Explodingtopics)

10. Rise in global leisure travel and spending

With the postponements of many holidays and adventures during COVID, people are ready to make the most of years’ worth of missed experiences by indulging in leisure travel. Find out how people are ready to splurge on luxury.

  • Global tourism arrivals will rise by 30% in 2023, following 60% growth in 2022, but they will still not return to pre-pandemic levels (Traveldailymedia)
  • Global leisure travel remains robust, up roughly 31% in March 2023 compared to the same period in 2019, representing an impressive 25% year-over-year-to-date change from 2022 to 2023 (Mastercard)
  • Travelers are increasingly seeking unique experiences in destinations across the world, with spending on experiences up 65%, while spending on things up 12%, compared to 2019 as of March 2023 (Mastercard)

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