In 2023, OutThere travellers will also be looking for ‘liberated luxury’. These are unbound experiences, outside the parameters of traditional luxury travel. As pandemic PTSD subsides, a new mindset has emerged, centred around footloose living and with that, deepening curiousities and flexible, more open-minded lifestyles. With this comes greater demand for personalised, tailormade holidays that are not cookie-cutter itineraries: to fulfil bigger dreams, burgeoning imaginations and the hunger for the unique. In order to meet these new priorities, travel providers and their suppliers will need to break free from the traditional expectations of luxury travel.
OutThere travellers will also want to ‘go further’ and ‘travel deeper.’ With life in the pandemic (and also a rapid return to normalcy) having had a numbing effect on their senses, it’s no wonder that there is a desire for reinvigorating, must-see, eye-opening trips.
We have seen significant interest, particularly for bookings later in 2023, in immersive expeditions and ‘journeys of discovery’. They are interested in voyages that go beyond the norm – perhaps even those outside their comfort zones – anchored in a sense of adventure and discovery, but still rooted in luxury.
73% of OutThere travellers are interested in going on an expedition holiday before the end of 2023. This includes small-ship and expedition cruises, epic train journeys, safaris and adventures that push limits, be it physically or mentally. They are also looking to go to the farthest reaches of the earth (and now even perhaps beyond our own planet): in terms of distance, elevation, climate extremes and seclusion. They want to see – with their own eyes – things that are ‘once in a lifetime’. They are no longer content that things are ‘out of their reach’, they are willing to make the long journeys to do so. They are also willing to spend high for the pleasure of doing it in luxury and comfort; they’ll “go big or go home”.
This sense of adventure and desire for experiential travel will also be a motivating factor when choosing and booking hotels and places to stay. We note that OutThere travellers are not just looking at hotels and resorts that offer unadulterated luxury, hospitality and a sense of place, but are also interested in what hotels can do to create a truly experiential and unique stay. They are looking for memorable experiences that help them explore more of the local area, see natural and modern wonders of the world, expand their horizons and aid personal growth.
“Whatever fears our guests are facing in 2023, this will be the year to step out of the comfort zone and ‘go wild’ – rediscover old favourites, explore new destinations, try new things, reconnect with the world and most importantly, with ourselves. For some, it’s embarking on that first solo trip post-divorce or taking their teenagers on an intrepid adventure through Central America. For others, it’s hiking through the Himalayas without any phone signal or braving a polar plunge in the ice-cold waters of Antarctica. In 2023, we’re going beyond the luxury tour operator remit of planning holidays to prescribing journeys for personal growth, each one as unique as our individual guests, no matter what stage of life they are at.”
Photography by Martin Perry on location in Galle, Sri Lanka for OutThere’s Seductive Sri Lanka Issue