The Dominican Republic ranks first in ForwardKeys’ “Global Travel Trends 2023” assessment

Punta Cana, RD.- The “Global Travel Trends 2023” Report from Advance keys once again placed the Dominican Republic at the head of the top countries that recovered their tourism sector the fastest and highlighted its 14% growth in 2023 vs. 2029 (pre-pandemic).

The report examines emerging global tourism patterns and evolving traveler behavior that have shaped the industry through 2023 and beyond.

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Source: ForwardKeys Current Air Tickets *Includes destinations with >0.65% share of international arrivals worldwide.

The year 2023 marks an important milestone as many destinations and travel companies are still focused on recovering from the impact of COVID-19. While the speed of recovery varies by region, it is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, even in countries that recently lifted travel restrictions. This means that destinations can now focus their attention on pre-pandemic issues, such as determining the type of tourism, destinations and purposes they want to promote. However, the context in which these questions are asked has changed. It is now determined by geopolitical events, technological advances and concerns about sustainability.

Key trends: outbound travel will change in 2023

Global Travel Trends that DMOs and tourism partners should take into account include:

Urban tourism is increasing

Over the last two years, due to the post-pandemic scenario, travelers have developed a strong preference for destinations that offer ‘sun and sand’. However, in 2023 there has been a notable change in the trend. Urban destinations are increasingly popular with tourists, with a growth rate of 52% compared to 26% growth in ‘sun and sand’ destinations over the same period in 2022.

Climate change matters in the long term

In the summer of 2023, the northern hemisphere experienced extreme temperatures, wildfires and flooding due to climate change. However, these events did not have a significant impact on travel patterns. Despite the Rhodes forest fires, ticket sales returned to normal levels within a month. However, climate change is expected to have a long-term effect on travel preferences. As temperatures rise, summer demand in warmer destinations is likely to decline, while colder regions will become more attractive to travelers.

Family trips are back

Many travelers value shared experiences, and this is evident in the popularity of family group travel, where three to five passengers travel together. Compared to 2019, this segment has shown the fastest recovery in all regions, particularly in the Americas, where it has already surpassed 2019 levels. Although the recovery has been slower, couples travel is the second most resilient segment in all regions and are only slightly behind family group travel in APAC and the Americas.

Luxury trumps budget travel around the world

The Asia-Pacific region has seen a faster recovery in demand for luxury travel experiences compared to mainstream travel options. This can be partly attributed to the phenomenon of “revenge trips.” However, in the Americas, Middle East and Africa, where this phase has already passed, demand for premium cabin classes is showing a stronger recovery compared to economy seats. This suggests that, despite widespread concerns about the cost of living, consumers are still willing to pay more for high-end travel experiences.

Travelers want variety most in 2023

An analysis of international tourist arrivals in 2023, including future ticket data for the fourth quarter, reveals several notable trends compared to 2019 figures. The analysis reflects the continued recovery of global tourism post-COVID-19.

In 2022, the Caribbean and southern Europe were the most popular destinations, as pent-up demand for “sun and sand” destinations boosted international tourist arrivals. In 2023, however, more diverse travel patterns will emerge. The Dominican Republic, Mexico and Greece still maintain high positions, but the mix is ​​more varied overall, with the Middle East and Africa (MEA) particularly well represented among the top-performing countries.

This year, Colombia ranks second, exceeding 2019 levels by 5% in international tourist arrivals. This marks a return to growth and considerable outperformance compared to its peer destinations in South America. This growth is attributable to the country’s improving reputation for tourism safety, along with relatively high affordability and substantial improvements in connectivity.

The 2023 Global Travel Trends report features 21 pages of travel insights and insights using the latest air ticketing data from ForwardKeys, plus the 2023 global destination rankings, also by region.

Full report

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