New 2023 fad: Sustainable travel

Most consumers, 69 percent, actively seek sustainable travel options, according to the latest report of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Group, together with Deloitte.

“Demand for travel is now stronger than ever” said WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson

However, sustainability has become a key element of the travel agenda, with travellers eager to reduce their carbon footprint and support sustainable tourism.

Already, three quarters of travellers are considering travelling more sustainably in the future and nearly 60 percent have chosen more sustainable travel options in the last couple of years.

Furthermore, around three quarters of high-end travellers are willing to pay extra to make their trips more sustainable.

“The Asia-Pacific Region, with its rapidly growing middle-class and dynamic economies, is well-positioned to capitalise on the growth of the industry and take its place as a leader in the global tourism economy," according to Jane Sun, Group CEO.

“I’m optimistic about the positive momentum for the global resumption and growth of travel in 2023, primarily driven by mainland Chinese consumers, which will help accelerate worldwide recovery and development,” she explained.

Last year, following more than two years of travel disruption, travellers made clear their wanderlust is alive, with a 109 percent increase in international overnight arrivals, compared to 2021.

According to the report, last year's consumers were willing to stretch their budget for their holiday plans, with 86 percent of travellers planning on spending the same amount or more on international travel than in 2019, with U.S. tourists leading the list as big spenders.

But 2023 is looking even better in terms of travellers’ spend.

Despite concerns about inflation and the cost-of-living crisis around the world, nearly a third, or 31 percent, of travellers said they intend to spend more on international travel this year than in 2022.

According to Deloitte’s ‘Global State of the Consumer Tracker’, more than half, or 53 percent, of global consumers surveyed during the summer plan to stay in a hotel over the following three months.

"Our report shows that this year, we will see a significant bounce back," according to Simpson. Overall, 2023 is set to be a "very strong year for Travel and Tourism".

“Sustainability is top of travellers’ agenda, and consumers highlight the value they put on protecting nature and travelling responsibly,” she reiterated.

“Even the rise in inflation-driven financial concerns is not slowing the pace," maintained Scott Rosenberger, Deloitte Global Transportation, Hospitality & Services Sector Leader.

"Incredibly, travel is being prioritized and flexible or remote work arrangements are creating new opportunities," he pointed out.

"We are actively engaging with our clients as they embrace these new trends and create memorable experiences for consumers," Rosenberger added.

The WTTC report also revealed that in 2022 sun and sea package holiday sales surged 75 percent versus the previous year.

Visits to major cities are likewise expected to see a 58 percent year-on-year increase, less than 14 percent below 2019 levels.

Luxury holidays will prove particularly popular, with sales of luxury hotels expected to reach $92 billion by 2025, compared to $76 billion in 2019.

Nearly 60 percent of travellers said they were either already paying to offset their carbon emissions or considering it if the price was right.