Outbound travel expected to increase in 2023 as Americans consider trips to Asia and Europe
Mount Fuji, Japan.
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Americans are set to travel abroad in droves in 2023.
Households continue to release two or three years of pent-up demand as Covid-19 fears fade and the last vestiges of pandemic-era border restrictions ease.
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The U.S. dollar also remains relatively strong against currencies like the eurohybrid working gives more flexibility for long trips and some airlines have added new long-haul routes to overseas destinations, according to travel experts.
“The travel industry is becoming gangbuster,” said Erin Florio, editor-in-chief of Condé Nast Traveler.
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Thirty-one percent of Americans are more interested in international travel than domestic, according to a recent survey by tourism market research firm Destination Analysts. That’s a six-point increase from February and a year-to-date high, according to the surveypublished in November.
Meanwhile, 62% of searches for 2023 flights in the first week of December were for international destinations, up from 55% in the same period last year, according to a recent Hopper. report. He cited international travel as one of the top three trends for 2023, saying it was set “for a big comeback”.
Kayak searches for overseas flights are up 1.3% from a year ago, the company says Data to December 18. Those for domestic flights were down 13%.
In 2022, the share of international trips for which Americans purchased travel insurance was comparable to 2019 levels, the first time this had happened in the pandemic era, according to travel insurance market data in 2022. Squaremouth line. The trend continues for trips booked for 2023.
American travelers largely remained within US borders in 2020 and 2021 amid health concerns and Covid-related restrictions abroad such as testing requirements, mandatory quarantines or outright bans. mere foreign tourists. Visits to US National Parks booming and RV rental skyrockets because outdoor vacations offered the dual benefits of travel and relative safety from viruses.
Now the fear of the virus has faded. In September, the share of travelers unconcerned about contracting Covid surpassed those affected, the first time this has happened in the pandemic era, according to Destination Analysts.
Tower Bridge, London.
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2022 was also a year for more major trips abroad – but a spike in virus cases towards the end of 2021 and the start of the new year, fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant, somewhat cooled enthusiasmsay the experts.
“There are a lot of pent-up travel requests,” said Jessica Griscavage, travel consultant and CEO of Runway Travel. “We missed the trips for two to three years.”
This so-called “revenge trip“The trend – a term recently coined to describe incipient and pent-up wanderlust – coincides with looser health rules abroad and at home.
United States dropped a Covid test requirement for inbound air travelers from overseas in June. This rule, which also applied to US citizens, required a negative test within a day of the flight.
Many countries had also completely closed their borders to foreign tourists. Now most are welcoming visitors again – especially those with a Covid vaccine.
Fully vaccinated tourists can access 197 countries without Covid-19 testing or quarantine, and 16 more are open but require testing, according to Kayak Data.
“We’re pretty much at a place where we can go anywhere,” Florio said.
According to Kayak, only 12 countries, including China, Libya, Turkmenistan and Yemen, are still closed to vaccinated Americans.
Many countries have put in place more restrictions for unvaccinated people. About 69% of Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommended be up to date with your vaccines before an international trip.
Many countries, including Australia, Bhutan, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, The Philippines and Singapore — easing of border closures in 2022. Many European countries too fall test requirements for Americans. (Travellers should consult the US State Department website for country-specific Covid restrictions.)
Moreover, the increase in remote work in the era of the pandemic made “to-do list trips a more achievable reality,” said Nitya Chambers, editor and senior vice president of content at Lonely Planet.
Indeed, Hopper found that 67% of travelers travel more often and 20% travel further due to the flexibility of remote working.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
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The Asia-Pacific region is ready for the biggest rebound in 2023 due to its wide reopening in the second half of 2022, travel experts said.
Japan has seen perhaps the biggest surge in interest, they said. The country reopened its borders to travelers on October 11, with some remaining restrictions.
“You almost can’t talk about travel without the country of Japan being listed for 2023,” Florio said, adding that Australia and New Zealand are also “massive.”
Asia grew demand the most of any region, according to to data from Hopper, which shows that 27% of searches for international flights are for Asian cities, up from 19% last year.
Indeed, eight of the 10 most popular international flight destinations in early December were in Asia and Oceania, Hopper said. Tokyo; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Bangkok were the top three, with airfares averaging around $1,200 per return ticket.
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G Adventures, an international tour operator, saw its sales rise the most in 2023 for Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, chief executive Ben Perlo said. This month of November was a record month for the company; sales in the three Asian countries each exceeded their November 2019 figures, he said.
However, Europe remained the most popular destination in terms of total volume, with European cities capturing a third of all searches for international flights, about the same as in 2021, Hopper said.
Long-term rentals (those of 28 days or more) have “become much more popular in Asia Pacific compared to a year ago,” according to an AirBnb spokesperson. However, most long-term stays are in Europe and North America.
Major European hubs were among the most searched this year until September 30, according to data from Google Flights. London ranked No. 1, followed by Paris (No. 3), Rome (No. 6) and Lisbon (No. 9). Ho Chi Minh City was No. 2, while other Asian cities like Delhi and Mumbai also ranked highly (No. 4 and 7, respectively).
Italy, the UK and France ranked first, third and fifth respectively among top foreign destinations in 2023, according to a recent Destination Analysts survey. (Canada, Mexico and Japan placed second, fourth and sixth, respectively.)
“Everyone wants to go to Europe,” Griscavage said. “It was a destination that everyone missed during the pandemic.”
Due to demand, people have become more “creative” about how to travel in Europe, she added. Many opt for the typically less busy (and less expensive) shoulder season, perhaps as early as March or late fall, Griscavage said.
Global travel demand has unfolded similarly, with interest primarily directed to Europe and Asia, according to Expedia. Data. Edinburgh, Scotland, and Sydney, Australia, rank No. 1 and 6 in part due to respective major events like the Fringethe largest arts and media festival in the world, and World Pridesaid Expedia.
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That’s not all to say that traveling is without headwinds. Value has been a particular concern for travelers, whose budgets have been strained by high inflation. Overall airfare and hotel prices have risen 36% and 3%, respectively, over the past year, according to the Consumer Price Index.
International travel is expected to be more expensive next year, Hopper said, despite signals from the consumer price index that prices for plane tickets, hotels and rental cars have trended lower. these last months. The desire to travel abroad has increased until 2022 despite these economic worries, said Destination analysts.
The euro is trading at historically low levels against the US dollar, meaning Americans were able to get great deals when booking trips to countries such as France, Germany, Italy and Portugal. That dynamic is likely driving at least some of the popularity, Perlo said. (The euro has strengthened somewhat in recent weeks, however.)
“The current economy and prices aren’t stopping people from traveling,” Chambers said. “People have gone home, they want to go back, they have a list of things they want to experience and they’re doing it.”