So, you want to travel this year? We hear you, and you’re not the only one.
If you’re one of those brave souls who took long-haul flights and spent hours in domestic airports just to get a connecting flight to that dreamy island, congratulations! You’ve earned the 2022 wild traveler badge. The empty shops in waiting lounges didn’t bother you, nor did the always-changing arrival health requirements.
The year 2022 made traveling extra worth it. Regardless of how many times you bid goodbye to your Air tags after your luggage went missing, the times you had to rebook your accommodation because of flight cancellations, and the number of apps you downloaded to enter a territory. As mentioned, congratulations! And welcome to 2023, where “nothing will be off limits, and everything will be on the menu as travelers seek to find the right balance in a world of contradictions.”
So what will traveling be like in 2023? Booking.com asked over 24,000 travelers across 32 countries and territories to predict emerging travel trends.
One of the many interesting things revealed includes travelers are surprisingly prepared to dial up their spending – and even splurge – on their trips: 49% admit that they plan to be more indulgent while on vacation to make up for the lack of travel during the pandemic, while 43% plan to spend lavishly to ensure every experience is the absolute ultimate.
Even when traveling for business, 59% of the global workforce believe exploring new places inspires them to be more productive at work. This is why, according to Booking.com, this year, we will see “a rise in destination business retreats with a focus on strengthening relationships and corporate recreation rather than work. Think ‘survivor’ themed trips at luxury cabins or country farmhouses complete with outdoor adventure activities.”
Arjan Dijk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com, said this year’s travel predictions study “demonstrates a desire for travel to be a way to seek unapologetic moments of happiness and escapism to counteract the heavy realities of our news feeds.”
If 2022 was about the “triumphant return of travel,” 2023 would be about “creatively reimagining it amidst the chaos.” Here we’ll look at what the Vietnamese market wants from their travel experience this year and what kind of travelers they will be.
Go off the grid
According to the study, nearly half (44%) of global travelers want their travel experiences to have a more back-to-basics feel to experience life with only the bare necessities, while 55% are looking for ‘off-grid’ style vacations to switch off and escape from reality.
In fact, 60% of Vietnamese travelers are looking for an opportunity to prepare for an apocalypse — learn the basics, survival schools, camouflaged cabins, self-sufficient accommodations, and eco-friendly spots.
Surprisingly, 47% of the always-online generation (Gen Z) and the millennials would want to do this. However, over half (53%) have a non-negotiable requirement: phone and internet connection at their destination is essential. The good news is, traveling through the mountainous destinations of Vietnam and even when you’re staying in the valley, you will still likely get a cellular connection, and accommodations have stable internet access.
Turn to Virtual Reality
Nearly half (43%) of global travelers report that they will be turning to virtual reality in 2023 to inspire their vacation choices. 64% of Vietnamese respondents said they opt to try VR to get some travel inspiration- just behind India (70%) and Thailand (72%).
According to Booking.com’s data, “over a third (35%) of travelers are keen to embark on a multi-day VR travel experience; this will be more than just ‘try before you buy.’ In a year when Metaverse worlds will begin replicating and reimagining destinations, travelers will no longer be limited by physics and can experiment with different travel experiences.”
Thanks to technology, 46% are more likely to travel to destinations they wouldn’t have previously considered after virtually experiencing them. And 60% remain firm that a virtual experience is not fulfilling enough to check it off the bucket list.
Out-of-comfort zone experience
With more people wanting to go off the grid, some want to take it to a whole new level and push themselves to the limits. 88% of the Vietnamese respondents are “seeking unique vacations that shock, surprise, and delight.” Vietnam came in fourth, with India and Thailand leading this trend (96%), followed by China (93%). They’re all about finding delight in the discomfort zone.
While it’s something usual travelers don’t want to experience, 50% of the global population want to experience complete culture shock, 51% want to travel somewhere with entirely different cultural experiences and languages, and 30% are keen to explore lesser-known cities with hidden gems that aren’t mainstream.
This ‘culture shook’ traveler is also partial to throwing caution to the wind, with three in ten (28%) wanting to buy a one-way ticket in 2023 and following their instinct wherever it takes them.
Fully immersive approach to peace and pleasure
This is for those who want to take their mind, body, and soul’s wellness to the next level — a fully immersive, no-holds-barred approach to attaining peace and pleasure, including less conventional ways to feel bliss.
For a conservative and traditional country like Vietnam, it’s unexpected that 45% of its travelers want to take time away on an erotic escape, and they’re open about it. India still topped the list with 61%, Thailand followed with 59%, and South Korea with half its population. Mexico and China also had 45% of its travelers addressing their sexual well-being and pleasure needs.
In addition, 44% of the surveyed individuals want to indulge themselves in getaways that would recenter the mind, such as meditation and mindfulness activities. Furthermore, the same generations, Millennials & Gen Z, are most likely to find peace at a silent retreat.