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ToursByLocals, a Vancouver-based company that provides private tours, recently conducted a survey sent to more than 90,000 active travellers in Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The findings reveal some top travel trends for fall and beyond.
“It’s refreshing to see the diversity of destinations Canadians are seeking as we look ahead to 2023,” says Paul Melhus, president and co-founder of ToursByLocals. “One year ago, international travel was still fairly limited but this summer things really took off. European tours dominated our bookings this summer, but we’re seeing an interest in shoulder and off-season travel, and a desire to push boundaries and venture further abroad. It’s great to see Japan coming back after such heavy travel restrictions, as well as countries like Argentina and Brazil.”
Notably, 26% of all tours booked so far in 2023 are customized itineraries, reflecting a continued trend towards personalized travel.
“Regardless of where they are visiting, more than ever, Canadians share a desire to unlock the most memorable travel experiences,” says Melhus. “A private tour, hosted by an experienced local guide, provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in a destination and its culture.”
International and domestic travel is on the rise with 74% of survey respondents noting they are planning to travel between now and December. Of those, nearly 85% plan to take international trips.
“This suggests we’ll see robust sales throughout fall. The data also tells us we’ll continue to experience a shorter than normal booking window, which is a trend being felt across the entire travel industry,” says Paul.
Looking further ahead, 86% say they are planning to travel internationally in 2023, with only 1% stating they will not travel and 10% indicating they haven’t decided yet. The rest will travel but stay domestic.
As evidence of cruising’s comeback, nearly 50% (49%) of respondents indicated they are ready to return to sea and plan to take a cruise in 2023.
“Current bookings show nearly 1 of every 2 tours booked for next year are for shore excursions,” says Paul. “We attribute this to the fact that cruisers are known to book far in advance, but it also shows how quickly the industry is rebounding.”
Travel advisors can help their clients design immersive experiences and earn a 5% minimum commission with each booking made. Agents can register for this incentive here. Once an agency has booked $9,700CAD ($7,500USD) worth of tours, the commission is raised to 10%, and applied retroactively to all tours booked that year.
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