Travel has had a tumultuous few years, with the pandemic essentially upending the industry. As we head into 2023, cost of living concerns may also impact travel as consumers rein in spending. Brands will no doubt be asking themselves – is travel a priority for post-pandemic consumers? Or will rising costs dampen their wanderlust spirit?
In our Trending 2023 report, we explore all the ways that consumers are entering 2023 in a rebellious mood. They are questioning established norms, defying authority and side-stepping received wisdom across many areas of life – from travel to shopping to identity-building. They want to take back control in a volatile and uncertain world and to rewrite the narrative on their own terms.
Below are 3 insights into what the consumer rebellion means for travel:
Travellers want to live life to the fullest
Confronted by a daunting, unpredictable future, consumers are embracing the present. Crises have come thick and fast over the past few years, and while consumers are aware that the “sensible” thing is to hunker down and embrace frugality – just as the sensible response to climate change is to adopt more sustainable behaviours – there’s a feeling of malaise in a world where it seems as though the tough times won’t ever let up.
This is why a majority of global consumers (51%) agree with the statement “I try to have as much fun as I can now and let the future take care of itself”, with upticks in agreement seen across several markets between 2019 and 2022. Agreement is even higher (55%) among consumers who travel internationally at least once a year (see chart below). The thinking seems to be that if the world is already on fire, why not make the most of the here and now?
BNPL will help consumers budget for holidays
Budgeting is no doubt on many people’s minds, but buy now, pay later offerings across retail and travel are enabling them to “live now, pay later”. From airlines like Qantas and American Airlines to booking platforms (Agoda, Zip.co), there are a growing number of travel brands innovating in this space.
The consumer appetite is certainly there: 36% of consumers who say that vacations are important to their identity have used or are interested in using BNPL. That’s 11 percentage points above the proportion of consumers who don’t see vacation as important to their sense of identity.
There’s no such thing as the “perfect” trip
Overly posed Instagram holiday pictures are so 2019. Today’s travellers are rejecting the idea that sleek minimalism and filtered perfection are the ultimate aesthetic aspiration. Instead, they’re embracing individual style and choices, and authenticity and rawness are the new markers of cool.
In the travel realm, that means that consumers want permission to be their authentic selves while on holiday, a message that IHG Hotels and Resorts has promoted in its Guest How You Guest campaign. And our data confirms that international travellers are celebrating difference: 65% feel the need to be just that bit different from others in the way they express themselves.
Want to know more about why 2023 will be defined by rebellion, and what that means for your brand? Download a free preview version of our Trending 2023 report today.
Dive deeper into the data with Collision
The charts in this post were created using our trends intelligence platform Collision, where you can instantly access trended consumer data spanning 27 global markets. You can explore the data by sector, theme or business application, cutting it by more than 180 different audience breaks to find the stats that matter and uncover the opportunities to make an impact.
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