It’s been a year of excitement around sleeper trains, community-empowering tours, next-level all inclusives and gut health retreats. But what does the blank slate of 2023 have in store for our travels? Here are some trends to watch out for.
If last year was the year of people-empowering travel, 2023 is all about learning about the origins – the true origins – of a destination. A raft of tours and experiences led by Indigenous guides has cropped up from Australia to Guyana, directing tourist spend towards communities who have kept their culture and traditions alive for hundreds of years.
Intrepid Travel is set to offer more than 100 experiences of this kind heading into 2023: in Mexico’s Yucatan region, its tour groups will meet and tour the farm of a Mayan family, followed by a hands-on cooking class and communal meal; in Utah travellers can learn about local plants, animals and the local landscape on treks with Native American guides. Other experiences are led by Costa Rica’s Terraba River Indigenous Community, and the Sámi, Europe’s only remaining indigenous group, in Lapland. In Guyana, a new six-day Highlands trek is led by tribespeople from the village of Pairuma. In Australia, try the state of Victoria to visit the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape or take the Grampians Road Trip, while in Canada, Audley has a new wolf-watching experience led by Tlatlasikwala First Nation guides in British Columbia.
It’s no secret that holidays are getting longer – along with the proliferation of three-week-plus tours now on offer, tour operators have found the average number of days has crept up as people plan mega-trips following the pandemic. It’s prompted ABTA – The Travel Association – to single out “hibernation holidays”, a style of trip most popular in the first few colder months of 2023, involving a longer spell hiding out away from the UK. A desire to escape rising costs, punishing winters and news-cycle dreariness may seem at odds with the cost of living crisis, but travellers are actively seeking out top-value destinations where their pound will stretch further and they can live a cheaper lifestyle in warmer weather for weeks or even months at a time. The trend also goes hand in hand with digital nomads having more flexibility to visit a destination for a period…