Tripadvisor has released its first Seasonal Travel Index of 2023, providing an outlook for travel patterns and demand over the next three months.
The majority of travelers (66%) plan to travel in the upcoming season (March-May) according to consumer sentiment research commissioned by Tripadvisor in five key global markets. Around 9 in 10 of these travelers (86%) plan to travel the same amount or more compared to last year, with this figure highest in the U.S. (94%) and lowest in the U.K. (81%).
Inflationary pressures appear to have less impact on travel planning when compared to data from previous editions of the Seasonal Travel Index. Almost two in five travelers (37%) intend to travel as planned between March and May, despite rising living costs, versus less than a third (32%) between December 2022 and February. For those intending to change travel plans due to rising prices this upcoming season, 31% will travel less or take shorter trips, while 27% will vacation closer to home.
Consistent with previous indexes, affordability (65%) remains nearly twice as important as other factors like trip length (35%) and trip type (31%) when planning a trip. Despite this, travelers look set to maintain travel spend this season, with half of travelers surveyed (50%) planning to spend more this upcoming season, compared to the same period last year, also broadly consistent with the previous edition.
When it comes to destination planning, three in five travelers surveyed (59%) plan to travel domestically for their primary trip over the next three months, consistent with the previous index. Roughly a third of global travelers surveyed (66%) plan to return to a place they’ve visited before, while only a third will visit somewhere new.
With spring around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere, major cities—including Paris, London, New York and Rome—dominate the list of top global destinations between March and May. In the Southern Hemisphere, Australian travelers are looking to more sun-drenched destinations, with the majority of top ten international destinations located in Southeast Asia.
In a trend that continues from previous indexes, 13 of the top 15 fastest-growing global destinations (those that have seen the largest year-on-year growth in hotel demand on Tripadvisor) are all based in Asia-Pacific countries, many of which have only recently reopened to international travelers or continued to loosen restrictions over the past 12 months.
“As seen in previous editions of our Seasonal Travel Index, consumer appetite for travel remains strong as we head into the spring months in the Northern Hemisphere,” said Alice Jong, research and insights senior analyst, media, Tripadvisor. “Destination-wise, we can expect robust demand for city breaks from Northern Hemisphere travelers, with several of the world’s most iconic capitals dominating the list of most popular destinations.”