There are healthy doses of optimism and pessimism in what American travelers predict for 2023. After perhaps experiencing revenge-travel fueled pandemonium in 2022, there appears some wariness of the travel industry among traveling consumers. Further price gouging (25%), labor shortages (24%) and an increasingly frustrating domestic travel experience overall (22%) are among the top scenarios we tested that Americans feel are likeliest to occur in 2023. Interestingly, 13% predict travelers will sour on the use of home rental services like Airbnb/VRBO—a sentiment felt strongest among younger travelers. Yet despite some of this negative outlook, 23% of American travelers say they will still take a dream trip to somewhere exciting in 2023. Gen Z and Millennial-aged travelers, as well as those who identify as Black/African American and/or Latino/Hispanic are the likeliest to say a dream trip will come to fruition this year. About 16% of American travelers feel that more authentic, less commercial travel experiences will grow in popularity (15.6%), and just over 14% say they will be more proactive about reducing the impact of their travels on the environment. Over 30% of American travelers say with a degree of certainty that 2023 is going to be a great year for them personally.
Although our survey fielded just before the full Southwest Airlines operational meltdown, air travel was already losing share as a transportation preference. When Americans were asked about their foremost travel transportation preference, those selecting road trips increased by 4 points from October to 44%, while preference for commercial airline travel dropped 3 points in that same timeframe to 29%. While the possibility of flight cancellations declined as a travel deterrent between August and December, we will look into any further or longer lasting effects of ongoing commercial air service issues, particular what transpired during this holiday season.
Source: Destination Analysts Update on American Travel Trends & Sentiment-
Week of January 9th , 2023