Consumers plan to travel, spend more in 2023, says report

The global tourism sector poses a positive outlook for 2023 in terms of travel demand, with 45% of travellers planning to travel more and 41% planning to spend more, said travel marketplace Skyscanner in a new report.

Titled Skyscanner Horizons: Outlook in 2023 as travellers redefine value, the report unpacks and explores a combination of consumer survey and proprietary search and booking data to provide a unique view of how travellers are thinking about their plans for the next 12 months.

A survey of 11,000 travellers from 10 countries reveals insights about key indicators such as travel propensity, spend, trip type and social media preferences. Skyscanner search and booking data is overlayed to provide additional information about airfare upgrades (ancillaries), regional travel demand, trending destinations and the resurgence of mobile.

The report also features exclusive expert commentary on these trends shaping recovery from industry thought leaders such as Hugh Aitken from Skyscanner, Centre for Aviation’s Marco Navarria, and Nick Hall of Digital Tourism Think Tank.

Hugh Aitken, VP of Flights at Skyscanner commented: “2022 has not only marked a return to 2019 levels of travel demand in many parts of the world, but also demonstrated the resilience of the sector. Travellers have shown a sustained desire to travel as networks are restored, as well as a willingness to upgrade their airfares.

“Despite current global economic pressures, there is reason for cautious optimism in 2023 as international travel continues its resurgence and travellers indicate their appetite to put their discretionary spend towards it. However, travel patterns will continue to vary as travellers increasingly look for value – and a mobile-first experience – to build itineraries and choose destinations that best suit their individual needs.”

Marco Navarria, Global Content and Marketing Director at CAPA said of the report: “The Skyscanner Horizons report continues to identify the most thought-provoking themes facing the aviation and travel industry around the world. Traveller behaviour, in-depth analysis of demand and opportunities for airlines and destinations are just a few of the key elements captured within the report. Skyscanner’s direct access to travellers allows for clear foresight into the year ahead.”

“It is well documented that corporate travel has been significantly slower to recover from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. To see around a fifth of travellers exploring options to utilise increased budgets for additional ancillaries, including upgrades to higher fare classes, will have a greater impact on airlines ability to manage rising costs and ultimately provide improved services for travellers,” Navarria added.

Nick Hall, CEO of Digital Tourism Think Tank said: “For EMEA, the strong rebound of international travel, which at times even exceeds 2019 levels, is a testament to the hard work invested in maintaining strong brand visibility and driving demand when the time was right. In other markets, such as the Americas and APAC, the rapid return to near normal levels can be seen as a hugely positive milestone in the pathway to recovery.

“Skyscanner’s invaluable insights help us to get have a glimpse into how recovery is taking shape and which destinations are standing strong. It shows the resilience of traditionally strong routes, whilst patterns in volumes remind us of the need to keep a sharp eye on driving awareness and demand and adapting our message in a climate of economic uncertainty. The results in doing so speak for themselves. In an ever more competitive environment, keeping destination brands top-of-mind and relevant is key.”

Key report findings include:

  • Travellers are increasingly looking for price transparency and value in their airfares, but are willing to upgrade as ancillary selection increases by up to 725% - fare, seat, and baggage the most popular
  • International travel continues its recovery across all regions, with significant recent gains in APAC. However, travellers indicate a preference for short haul in 2023
  • Mobile's resurgence as the default for trip planning and booking, 50% growth in travellers accessing Skyscanner via mobile devices since the start of the year
  • Instagram is the most influential social media platform for inspiration, with TikTok not far behind. 




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