Intelligence

Hilton report spotlights travellers’ changing expectations as record year of travel concludes

Hilton's 2023 trends report reveals a focus on frictionless travel, more engaging experiences, a sense of caring and enhanced wellness offerings.

Hilton

Hilton has released its report, The 2023 Traveler: Emerging Trends that are Innovating the Travel Experience, A Report from Hilton, which reveals the latest consumer expectations following a year when travellers showed up in record numbers. Based on a global survey and analysis of current travel trends, today’s travellers are looking for a balance of technological and human innovations, deeper connections and care, embedded wellness experiences and more.

The 2023 Trends Report showcases travellers’ evolving preferences and how eager and optimistic they are about their future adventures.

In 2022, motivated travellers sought out new experiences around the world and reconnected with the people and places they love,” said Chris Nassetta, president and chief executive officer, Hilton. The 2023 Trends Report showcases travellers’ evolving preferences and how eager and optimistic they are about their future adventures. Our Hilton team members are ready to welcome them and create a great stay experience at our more than 7,000 properties worldwide.”

The new report is the result of evaluating both quantitative and qualitative data research paired with insights collected by more than 7,000 travellers across the world in a survey commissioned by Hilton and conducted by Material, a global strategy, insights, design, and technology partner. The research uncovered four consistent themes for 2023 travel, driven by traveller experiences over the last three years.

People will turn to travel for deeper, more engaging, human experiences and connections

Travel is a gateway to discovering different perspectives and rich traditions. In 2023, travellers will focus on travel to create deeper connections with family, friends, colleagues, customers, cultures and the planet. Nearly half (49 per cent) of survey respondents want to be immersed in local culture and products while travelling, and another 40 per cent want personalized access to unique experiences or activities, such as performances, events, spa treatments, or classes.

From destination-focused culinary travel packages to impactful programs like Hilton’s Travel with Purpose, which helps guests positively impact the communities they visit, travellers are looking to create meaningful change through more immersive travel experiences. In fact, Hilton is witnessing signs of this growth through its reimagined Hilton Honors Experiences, which saw a 77 per cent year-over-year increase in Hilton Honors Point redemption during the first nine months of 2022, allowing members to connect with their passions through new, exclusive artist and celebrity events.

People will recognize travel as an essential part of their wellness routine

Overall wellness remains a priority for travellers as half (50 per cent) of respondents seek travel experiences in 2023 that align with their wellness goals and priorities, addressing the mind, body and spirit.

For about 1 in 2 (47 per cent) travellers, physical wellness and accessibility to fitness amenities like centers or activities will be top of mind when it comes to travelling in 2023. Guests will also seek moments of connection with their communities, as well as insights and solutions that improve their mental and emotional health. Addressing mental health on the road will be prioritized by 35 per cent of global survey respondents. Meanwhile, another 49 per cent of those employed will be looking to travel to disconnect from work. 

Hilton remains committed to meeting the needs of these travellers, and recently announced a new, industry-first partnership with Peloton Interactive, Inc. (Nasdaq: PTON), making Hilton the first hospitality brand to feature at least one Peloton Bike in fitness centers across its entire U.S. hotel portfolio of 18 award-winning brands. 

Travellers will want to be taken care of more than ever

Next year, Hilton anticipates travellers will have a renewed appreciation for being cared for, with 86 per cent of survey respondents indicating they want recognition and personalization while on the road and another 25 per cent saying they want travel and hospitality companies to accommodate their personal needs in 2023. Specifically, 54 per cent are looking for personalized food and beverage options and 50 per cent are looking for personalized experiences and activities.

Travellers know the importance of wanting to feel valued for their loyalty – both in their wallet and as an individual. In fact, 42 per cent of survey respondents indicate that loyalty perks — such as earning/​redeeming points and loyalty benefits — will matter to them when travelling in 2023

Whether providing exceptional guest service for value-driven families or accommodating a pet coming along on vacation, Hilton understands the importance of delivering reliable and friendly service to every guest, every time. Hilton’s Pet Friendly” booking filter is the third most engaged booking search feature on Hilton​.com.

2022 uncovered unexpected friction points in travel. Hilton’s global research found that more than half (56 per cent) of travellers will prioritize adopting solutions that make travel easier in 2023. Nearly 9 in 10 (86 per cent) survey respondents will look for at least one thing to be personalized during their travel experiences and interactions, and 26 per cent of respondents anticipate hotel technologies will be important to them for a seamless stay.

To reduce travel’s strongest tension points, guests will seek out the most logical and purposeful solutions. They will look for the hospitality and service that they expected pre-pandemic, whether that’s personalized dining recommendations or reservation adjustments. Within the technological innovations, they will continue to embrace efficiencies like Digital Key in the Hilton Honors app, which allows travellers to bypass the front desk and go straight to their rooms, and enhanced booking options like Confirmed Connecting Rooms by Hilton, which allows families and friends to reserve adjoining rooms when booking online.