Tales of the city

Bucking the trends still evident in mainstream travel, OutThere travellers will lead the charge back to urban destinations. While over the last two years, people have sought open spaces in rural environments, 88% of OutThere travellers headed to cities instead, as well as its places to stay, eat, play and see.

OutThere travellers thrive in urban environments, away from the conservative gazes in more rural destinations. They want to be where they can meet and interact with other members of their communities. They also want to be able to engage in high-quality cultural experiences, that are endemic to urban centres.

A vast majority of OutThere travellers have already travelled to cities. Less densely populated cities that have access to open space, nature and beaches will continue to be popular, but the data indicates that in 2023, OutThere travellers will continue to lead the charge back to major metropoles. That said, we have noted a significant interest in ‘secondary cities’ this year – ones that are not country capitals but offer a unique, perhaps more relaxed take on the urban experience.   

OutThere travellers are also overwhelmingly more compliant with any remaining health ordinances and are more mindful and respectful when they travel. They also understand the power of community to rebuild after a time of crisis. Moreover, often considered opinion leaders, OutThere travellers can really set the benchmarks for urban tourism of the future and drive the mainstream back into cities.

In line with the desire to increase the average duration of their stays, city-based destinations and travel providers should consider how they can turn the traditional ‘city breaks’ into fully-fledged vacations or ‘living like a local’ trips; or work with other neighbouring partners to create greater value from regional, multi-centre holidays. Conversely, destinations and travel providers within easy reach of major city destinations should work harder to attract these travellers and expand their horizons.

In addition, with ‘bleisure’ firmly on the rise (77% of OutThere travellers are looking to add some ‘me time’ to their work trips and bring travelling companions with them), there is a significant opportunity for hoteliers to turn traditional business travellers into loyal leisure guests.

“Diverse travellers are returning with confidence to the world’s top cities. In the pandemic we’ve missed their bustling beauty, they are the heart of everything we crave. Like us, urban centres have changed too, demonstrating their resilience, inspiring difference and evolving with fresh new ideas. While new city destinations are firmly on traveller bucket-lists, there are also new hotel and attraction openings and new opportunities everywhere, so even the cities that we already know and love feel fresher than ever.”

Photography by Martin Perry on location in Budapest, Hungary for OutThere’s Beguiling Budapest Issue

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