2023 is just around the corner. But, which travel trends will we see impact the hospitality sector?

The world has already witnessed a change in the way we travel and 2023 is set to be bigger than ever. With 2023 already dubbed the year of ‘revenge travel’, with millions of people seeing their pandemic-planned trips finally come to life, the industry is having to adapt quickly. 

The trends set to shape 2023 are also heavily impacted by our ‘new normal’, including the global cost of living rising and the shift towards remote working. As more and more people return to travel, increasing importance is being placed on brand consistency and trustworthiness. Additionally, customers are keener than ever to be immersed in the culture of their location, which their accommodation of choice can easily help along.  

Bleisure travel

Pre-pandemic, working from abroad was something of a dream, but many companies didn’t have the infrastructure in place to implement this. Having been forced to shift to remote working due to the pandemic, companies and employees are reaping the benefits. 

Now, almost 50% of GenZ travellers say they will be working on their next trip abroad. This will be a priority for hospitality providers that aren’t capitalising on this, whether by featuring quiet areas, co-working spaces or fast internet, this will be a priority in 2023. Within the same trend, 78% of business/leisure travellers said they would be more likely to return to a hotel or rental that has unique touches such as music, artwork or scents. Travellers are spending more time inside their accommodation in order to get work done, therefore the more comfortable and homely it is, while also being efficient, the more likely they’ll be to return. A large majority of working travellers revealed they often bring their family on trips, and stated that they prefer properties that offer educational programmes and tours, especially for children. 

Trustworthy stays

Trust is becoming one of the biggest factors influencing customer retention in the hospitality industry. In 2022, we saw the worldwide giant Airbnb wobble slightly as increasingly people booked stays that went wrong, had questionable cancellation policies, hidden fees and more. Now customers are doing everything in their power to avoid scams. 

More than 80% of travellers said they want a simple way to modify or cancel their booking. Although this can be tricky for businesses who rely on confirmed bookings, post-pandemic the ability to cancel is vital. This doesn’t mean guests need to cancel last minute, but that the process of modifying and cancelling stays and the cancellation policies should be readily available. 

Another futuristic way travellers are verifying properties is via the metaverse – 70% of people said they would visit a property in the metaverse before staying if they could. Although this is still on the horizon for smaller businesses, large hotel brands and luxury brands have already started introducing virtual reality tours of their properties, to ensure guests don’t have any unexpected surprises, and for independent businesses, having sufficient photos, videos and reviews of properties is essential for winning guests’ trust. 

Local connections

87% of travellers said they would like more ‘cultural immersion’ from their accommodation. Visitors increasingly want to experience local cultures, and the complex nature of this can be taken off their hands by hospitality providers. Stays that offer information on the local area, such as tours, local guides and secret food spots, rather than generic tourist hotspots are already ahead of the curve. 

This trend is far easier implemented in luxury properties which can afford to organise local excursions to discover traditional foods and activities and meet communities, however, smaller businesses also have their part to play.

Cultural immersion also refers to travellers needing a human connection wherever they stay. In fact, 88% of travellers said that despite loving tech options and automated check-in, they still want onsite staff and some human interaction. Properties can easily implement this via the phone, by writing notes for guests, providing tailored services for celebrations or offering welcome gifts, such as local produce and drinks. 

The person behind the traveller

Very closely tied to cultural immersion and human connection is the deep dive into why people travel. As mentioned, travel is booming for leisure and business, and often both combined. If we explore even deeper, it’s revealed that more people are travelling for their mental health – with 50% saying their mental well-being improved after booking a trip. 

But how does this relate to hospitality? When people book relaxing holidays, they often return to the previously mentioned trend of trust. Guests will book with properties they’ve stayed at before, to ensure a level of comfort and familiarity. 50% of people said that they appreciate it when properties they’ve stayed at keep in touch, and they can often easily be persuaded to stay again and again, particularly if future stays are incentivised. 

If a guest has never stayed somewhere before, how can you win their return custom? The answer for 2023 is targeted ads. By using this knowledge of why people travel, properties can appeal to business travellers, high-powered solo females or people looking for a mental health detox. Targeting niche groups wins business in the long run. Once guests love a property, they’re willing to spend extra too. 85% of travellers are happy to spend more for extra amenities during their stays, such as breakfast, a better view or late check-out, but if you’re not making it clear that these are options, guests may quickly move on. 

Finally, the most important change hospitality providers can make in 2023 to attract travellers is to work on omnichannel marketing. Travellers, whether business or leisure, are no longer booking and researching where they stay based on one site. Google, direct websites, social media, word of mouth, reviews and adverts are all factored into the decision-making process, so the more platforms a property is on, the more likely it is a customer will trust it and book a stay. 

2023 with Nestor

At Nestor, we’re already implementing many of these within our properties and hope to expand this in 2023. All of our spacious London apartments have fast internet and working spaces, ideal for business travellers, who will be located in the heart of the city. 

The Carlyle

To make our properties as homely as possible, we partner with responsible and sustainable brands for all our products and can arrange helpful services such as a gift basket of groceries on arrival, airport transfers and local recommendations.

We make it easy to book a stay with us directly via our website and plant a tree for each guest who books with us.

To take advantage of our best rates, book directly on our site