August 8, 2023 | 3 Min
Travel Ecommerce Trends: Top 5 2023 Travel and Tourism Trends
Post-pandemic, the eCommerce landscape in the travel and tourism realm has undergone significant transformation. In the digital-first era, all eyes are (quite literally) on the online experience, and whether or not travel brands are keeping up with changing consumer demands. In this article, we’ll explore the top five 2023 travel trends that are reshaping the way travelers plan, book and experience their vacations — and what you can do to evolve your digital experience to meet their expectations.
Top 5 Travel Trends in 2023
1. Personalization is more important than ever
Cookie-cutter itineraries just aren’t cutting it anymore. In an era where experiences are valued more highly than possessions, personalization has emerged as the cornerstone of the travel booking experience. Rather than a generic vacation package, travelers now expect to be able to create experiences that reflect their individual preferences. From recommending destinations based on search history or upselling activities, trips and tours that match a traveler’s interest, the travel booking experience needs to be intuitive and tailored to the individual consumer.
How can you create this personalized experience? By leveraging and analyzing customer data, you can better understand customers’ shopping behavior and present them with relevant, tailor-made travel options.
2. Consumers blend business and leisure travel
Coined ‘bleasure’, this increasing trend sees consumers mixing business and leisure trips, either by working remotely while on vacation or extending a business trip. Long gone are the days of two or three-day corporate getaways and conferences. Now, with business travel increasing again post-pandemic, a growing number of workers are using extended time to explore new places, or to spend quality time with their family and loved ones.
With a large proportion of the workforce being able to work remotely, some have the flexibility to work from different locations and with a trip partially subsidized by their employer, they can turn a business trip into a vacation for a lower cost.
Travel and tourism brands can capitalize on the ‘bleasure’ trend by offering package deals that combine hotel accommodation and transportation with meeting and event spaces, as well as tours, activities or excursions. Travelers want to know what the area is like surrounding their hotel, what sights there are to see, which restaurants there are and where they can find shopping and wellness centers. By providing all of this information, you give business travelers a reason to stay longer.
3. AI-powered assistants provide conversational booking
AI assistants and chatbots, integrated into social media platforms such as Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp, are revolutionizing the way customers interact with travel platforms. Booking.com, Skyscanner and Expedia are all utilizing chatbots in their booking experience. The traveler is asked to provide details of their journey, and the bot will then search through booking sites to find the best deal.
AI-powered chatbots are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, making personalized recommendations throughout the customer journey and offering assistance in real-time, creating a smoother travel experience.
4. Consumers are spending more on travel
With travel restrictions in place throughout lockdown, consumers were unable to take a vacation and are therefore spending more on travel experiences in 2023 to make up for lost time. According to a trend report by Deloitte, 41% of travelers said they intended to spend more this year than in 2022, with 31% planning to spend more on international travel.
By creating personalized digital experiences, recommending relevant offers and upselling add-ons such as flight upgrades, hotel transportation, wellness services and private tours and excursions, airlines and travel brands have an opportunity to create a truly memorable experience for the traveler, all while increasing revenue per passenger.
5. Travel tech adoption accelerates
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technologies and the travel industry in particular has been quick to capitalize on the benefits. By automating bookings and payments, travelers are able to make their online bookings without a travel agent. With apps and live-chat services, travelers can get real-time updates regarding their flight, as well as check-in and out of their hotel. Emerging technology such as the Internet of Things has led to the adoption of mobile-controlled appliances in hotels and electronic key cards for contact-free check-in.
Technological advances have also supported increased personalization, enabling the collection and analysis of customer data to make relevant recommendations to the traveler during their booking experience.
So, how can you leverage these key 2023 trends to improve the travel experience for your customers? Technology is key. By embracing personalization, virtual experiences and AI-driven interactions, you can transform your digital strategy and provide exceptional value to your customers.
To find out more about the changes and opportunity in the travel industry, read our travel white paper.
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