As the pandemic fades into the past, the travel industry embraces new trends driven by a demand for adventure. Travelers are seeking out lesser-trodden routes, and the growth of the expedition holiday market reflects a desire for adventure post-lockdown. The industry is also responding to consumer demand for more environmentally friendly forms of travel, with sustainability at the center of many travel businesses’ plans for 2023.
The cruise sector is making strides in sustainability, with cruise lines introducing cleaner fuels, eliminating plastics, and reducing waste while producing fresh water on board. Furthermore, with more regional UK ports open to cruise vessels than ever, holidaymakers can travel less by road or air before they start their vacation, saving time and having environmental benefits.
James Cole, Founder and Managing Director at luxury cruise-focused Panache Cruises, states that “following the pandemic, we have seen a shift in the priorities of travelers across the wider travel sector as people move away from mass-market style holidays. After being cooped up inside for two years, people are looking for adventure further afield.”
Cole also notes that advancements in cruise ship technology, such as hydrodynamic hull design and more efficient propulsion systems, mean that vessels can now comfortably cruise at over 20 knots while using much less fuel. This allows tourists to travel further from home, even on shorter itineraries.
With lockdowns hopefully behind us, we are seeing a trend of travelers wanting to make the most of their free time, driving more people to visit “once in a lifetime” destinations. However, European destination trends have been impacted significantly by the war in Ukraine, with ships no longer stopping at various ports in the Baltic and Black seas. This has led to travel itineraries moving the focus away from Russia to other less-explored Eastern European destinations like Tallinn in Estonia, which has seen cruise tourists almost double in the past 12 months.
Ready to go on an adventure? The five travel trends to watch for in 2023 and 2024 include bucket list holidays, where travelers are looking to spread their wings with a renewed sense of perspective and a desire for adventure. There is also a surge in interest in expedition cruises, reflecting a desire to explore off the beaten track. Additionally, there is a bigger focus on sustainability and protecting the natural environment, with the cruise industry taking a lead in developing new greener fuels and more efficient vessels. Furthermore, advancements in cruise ship technology mean that travelers heading away on a week’s cruise on the most modern ships will be able to explore further afield. Finally, the cruising industry has seen a switch in tourism to other Eastern European seaports because of the war in Ukraine.