This is what we can expect in 2023
More than 2000 winter sports enthusiasts, of whom 61% have already booked their winter sports, have completed a survey about inflation, corona and climate. This gives a good picture of how Dutch and Belgian winter sports enthusiasts look at the coming season. Here are the results:
This is what we can expect in 2023, according to research by TUI
After the pandemic, the entire travel world looked doubtfully to the near future. Will the industry fully recover and how quickly will this happen? Fortunately, we now see that holidays are still very important for the Dutch, despite the fact that there are new crises that affect travel and booking behaviour.
In this blog we like to share a number of interesting results from a recent study by TUI that paint a good picture of the current sentiment and trends that we can expect in the near future.
1. We’re more price-conscious than ever and all-inclusive holidays gain popularity
The total costs of a trip have always been important for the Dutch. Next summer, they will be even more price-conscious, given the more uncertain economic conditions. It’s not about traveling as cheap as possible, but more about getting as much value for money as possible. Rising prices in everyday life do not prevent people from traveling. It does, however, influence the choice of holiday. An all-inclusive holiday gives more control over the holiday budget, which is why it gains popularity. The number of holidays booked on an all-inclusive basis within Europe is now +75% compared to last year. It partly explains the huge increase in the number of already booked holidays to Turkey next summer.
2. Solo travel for ‘me time’
According to Statistics Netherlands, there were 3.2 million single-person households in the Netherlands in 2022, which is 18% of all residents. With more and more single-person households, it is not surprising that solo travel is taking off. This is a group with specific wishes when it comes to vacation and travel. Reasons to go on a solo trip include enjoying peace and relaxation (54%), getting to know people (38%) and stepping out of your comfort zone (33%). Traveling solo becomes more of a conscious choice for ‘me time’ than a practical consequence of your relationship status.
3. Workation is here to stay
In the pandemic years, it became common to work from a place other than the office. From home or from a holiday destination, more and more people nowadays work independently. Research by MetrixLab, which was commissioned by TUI, shows that the employer allows 66% of the respondents to work abroad. And that since corona, 42% of respondents have started to combine vacation and work more often. Sitting on a beach with your laptop sounds fun, but it’s not as productive and certainly not ARBO-proof. The professional facilities are an important condition. Think of a hotel room with a good desk and a good chair, your own coffee machine and good WiFi.
It is mainly companies that book a workation for their employees. They also use it as a way to attract new employees. TUI already saw a 50% increase last summer compared to the previous year. Especially Curaçao, Bonaire, Zakynthos and the Algarve in Portugal were favourites. This trend will continue next year and there will also be an increase in supply in cities.
4. Flexibility, security and more last minute
People want flexibility and security; a clear legacy of corona. Flexibility in terms of rebooking and cancellation and assurance that they will be taken care of in unexpected circumstances. These are also the reasons that more people book their holiday shorter before departure. The shorter you book before departure, the more certainty about the circumstances that may affect your trip. In 2022, 38% of TUI travelers booked last minute (up to 42 days before departure), a clear increase, as in 2019 this was still 33%. That percentage is in line with the results of the September 2022 Holiday Sentiment Monitor of the NBTC. In it, 36% of the respondents indicate that they book a trip shorter in advance. A trend that will continue in 2023. The desire for certainty is also causing a revival of the package holiday and a large increase in bookings through travel agencies.
5. The train is on the rise
Plane or train? For a distant destination, the decision is easily made. You usually have to depend on the plane to get there. But closer to home, the train is increasingly becoming a good and more sustainable alternative. A condition for the traveler is that it must be comfortable, affordable and easy to book. At the moment, few travelers choose the train as a means of transport, but the number is growing.
This is also what the figures from the September 2022 Holiday Sentiment Monitor of the NBTC show. In 2021, only 4% indicated that they would consider the train as a means of transport, a year later it has risen to 10%. TUI also sees interest in the train rising. The share of train journeys in the total at TUI is now only 2%, but the train is increasingly chosen as a means of transport. City trips by train are especially popular. This number more than doubles (+124%) compared to 2019, with London, Paris, Berlin and Prague being the big risers. But the TUI Ski Express, which will be driving to various Austrian winter sports destinations this winter, can also count on increasing interest. The range of train journeys to choose from will only increase, more initiators are taking up this trend.
6. Electric sparks
A day on the road with a rental car or touring with a scooter or bicycle is a popular part of the holiday for many travelers. And more and more people prefer to do so electrically. The customer survey shows that 73% of the respondents are interested in renting an electric car or bicycle during the holidays. Not surprising when you consider that the Netherlands has one of the highest densities when it comes to electric cars. Holidaymakers are therefore often surprised that there is no electric rental car available at their holiday destination. This is usually due to the fact that there are not enough charging points. TUI decided to invest in charging stations on Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire.
In the course of 2023, a total of 55 charging stations will be installed: 30 on Curacao, 15 on Aruba and 10 on Bonaire. Due to their size, these islands are ideally suited for electric driving. With this investment, TUI wants to stimulate the use of electric transport at holiday destinations and encourage rental companies to use more electric cars.
Top three destinations by type of holiday
This overview is from the first week of January 2023. Last year, a large booking wave started mid-January, after the corona restrictions in and from the Netherlands were lifted and free travel was possible again to almost all major destinations. This year there is already a preference for certain holiday countries. The most booked destinations for summer 2023 per type of holiday are:
Flying holiday Europe
Striking: Turkey can still progress to 2nd place, because it is showing the largest growth at the moment. The wide range of all-inclusive hotels in this destination will help with that; this gives a traveler more control over the holiday budget in advance. The Cape Verde islands are developing from a winter sun destination into a fully-fledged summer holiday favourite.
Long flight vacation
Striking: Bali was one of the most popular distant destinations pre-corona and is now working very quickly to get back to the old level. In any case, the traveler has missed the Far East in recent years. Holidays to Indonesia and Thailand are being ‘caught up’ it seems. Zanzibar extends its growing popularity from winter to summer.
- New York
Striking: the Spanish cities were extremely popular last year, but New York is going on and on and attracts by far the most city travelers this summer. Paris narrowly leaves Rome behind. Prague is showing strong growth, next summer the night train will run even more often, which might lead to further growth.
Striking: in Denmark, it is the Billund region in particular that attracts many holidaymakers, because of Legoland. 13 times as many car holidaymakers have already booked a trip to Denmark compared to last summer. France in 4th place is closely followed by a fast-growing Croatia.