The post Flight Centre reveals UK’s Year in Travel 2023 and 2024 Trends appeared first on TD (Travel Daily Media) Brand TD.
Travel was back with a vengeance this year, and we’ve got the proof right here. Read on for some fascinating holiday facts, nuggets, and tidbits, based on what Flight Centre UK customers booked throughout 2023, and travel trends on the cards for 2024. Key insights include:
- Over a third of Flight Centre customers’ holidays were to the Land Down Under in 2023.
- 4-star hotels were the most popular this year, accounting for 53% of Flight Centre’s hotel bookings.
- 2024 travel trends include luxe for less, boomerang breaks, wild card wanderlust, treat yo’self travel, and multi-centre moments
For the full report, please visit the following link and read on below for Flight Centre’s highlights: The UK’s Year in Travel 2023 – and What’s on the Cards for 2024 | Flight Centre UK
Where Customers Travelled in 2023
In 2023, Australia was the most popular destination among Flight Centre’s UK customers, with over a third of overall bookings to the Land Down Under, followed by the United States of America (14%) and New Zealand (12%). Here are the top 10 countries booked through Flight Centre:
- United States of America (USA)
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Flight Centre’s top 10 destinations around the world based on the number of hotel bookings were:
- Dubai, UAE
- New York City, USA
- Sydney, Australia
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Paris, France
- Phuket, Thailand
- Tokyo, Japan
- Auckland, New Zealand
Singapore’s standout for international stays is largely due to the Lion City’s popularity as a long-haul stopover.
Of these hotel bookings, most people opted for 4-star or 5-star accommodation:
- 5-star 25%
- 4-star 53%
- 3-star 16%
- 2-star 4%
- 1-star 2%
Year-on-year, flights to the USA increased 2.8%, with Japan (+1.6%), Singapore (+0.7%), India (+0.4%) and Indonesia (+0.4%) also up. Flight Centre also saw travel return to Hong Kong and China post-pandemic, too.
With many international travellers typically choosing to fly to one destination before flying home again, it meant just a fraction took advantage of the money you can save by opting for multi-stop flights, taking in several destinations.
Top tip from Flight Centre’s air team? Consider multi-flight itineraries in 2024 to get more bang for your buck.
Round-the-world fares can also be a fun-filled option for travellers with a bit more time on their hands, as they can often stopover for free or throw in a side trip for great-value additions. For example, travellers should consider adding a stop in Asia or South America next time they’re flying to Australia. Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Buenos Aires, and Santiago are all options that work well, according to Air Specialists Manager, Andrew Stevens.
Air Specialists Manager, Andrew Stevens says: “Airlines are starting to open more routings and destinations, and with Sky Team reopening their round-the-world fare, travellers can look forward to more possibilities.”
Top 10 destinations in 2024
Our itchy feet don’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. Based on booking data and travel trends seen towards the end of 2023, here are Flight Centre’s predicted top 10 countries for 2024.
- New Zealand
- South Africa
What’s trending for 2024 travel styles?
With an ever-evolving landscape, resurgence and changes to travel styles after a COVID slump and a never-waning desire to journey beyond the horizon, one thing we know about travel is there’s never a dull moment. In addition to Flight Centre’s destination predictions above, Flight Centre has been talking about the hot trends shaping 2024 with those most in the know: its experts.
- Luxe for less
Cost is a key part of holiday decisions, and with cost-of-living concerns travellers will be on the lookout for destinations offering the biggest savings. For a dose of affordable luxury, great-value options including Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Mexico are set to give long-haul UK travellers more bang for their buck.
Furthermore, travellers will embrace cost-effective ways to enhance their holidays. Whether it’s an airport lounge pass or cabin upgrade to get the holiday off to the best possible start, a discounted stay, a complimentary room upgrade, or a few extra meals thrown in, there are plenty of ways to have the best holiday without breaking the budget. Plus, with famously delicious street food in many destinations, travel-hungry trippers can treat their tastebuds to a variety of tantalising eats along the way.
- Boomerang breaks
When travellers love a place so much, they go back again and again. In 2024, Flight Centre predicts we’ll be saying “encore” to old favourites and retracing some of our travel footprints. For some, it will be all about recapturing the nostalgia of places that shaped them, while for others, it will be about spending quality time with loved ones. Flight Centre predicts Australia will lead the way on this sentiment-led trend in 2024. As the data shows, Antipodean adventures aren’t letting up anytime soon.
Nikki Metcalfe, Destination Specialist says: “With airfares to Australia finally due to decrease post-pandemic, we expect increased interest in the Land Down Under.”
- Wild card wanderlust
Flight Centre is seeing a rising demand for the raw, with emphasis on appreciating authentic local culture, landscapes and wildlife in what Flight Centre’s experts are calling “wild card wanderlust”. Destinations leading the charge according to its experts include Komodo Islands, Costa Rica, Jordan and Kenya.
Indeed, group tour booking trends this year showed an uptick on Costa Rica and Jordan departures – which isn’t to say you can’t travel solo, with a significant other or even pair with a traditionally popular place. For example, Flight Centre’s expert Stuart Wakefield recommends taking a few nights out of a trip to Bali to visit the iconic Komodo Islands.
Stuart Wakefield, Destination Specialist says: “Komodo is just a short flight from Bali and most hotels are just 10-15 minutes from the airport in Flores. This is your gateway to these incredible islands that are made famous by the iconic Komodo Dragons. However, these are not the only residents. You will find an abundance of marine life including sharks and turtles. Make sure you visit Pink Beach. You will not be disappointed.”
- Treat yo’self travels
For those fond of the finer things in life, a tailor-made holiday with all the trimmings is high on the 2024 travel agenda – and no request is too grand. Whether travellers want to check into their own overwater suite and sink their feet into barefoot-ready beaches in the Maldives or indulge in the opulence of state-of-the-art hotels in Dubai, there’s a world of uber-exclusive holiday experiences to ensure a five-star getaway is one to remember.
Plus, with new luxe hotels on the horizon – including just-opened Secrets Tulum Beach Club, and One&Only Moonlight Basin, Montana – it’s shaping up to be a year to treat yo’self.
- Multi-centre moments
Flight Centre’s experts predict we’ll be embracing more alternative ways to have multi-centre holidays. Here are three highlights on the radar:
5.1 Canada rail holidays
Flight Centre’s experts say get onboard world-famous trains such as Rocky Mountaineer and explore heritage routes that take in rare wildlife, imposing peaks and sprawling forests. After all, Canada is one of the most stunningly beautiful countries on Earth, with a uniquely visual experience to offer visitors.
Jo Mackenzie & Caroline Pepper, Travel Consultants say: “If you want a mesmerising journey with impeccable world-class service, Rocky Mountaineer is the trip for you. Carriages feature oversized dome-shaped windows, so you won’t miss a moment of the ever-changing landscapes! The staff are absolutely amazing with their engaging storytelling and commentary throughout, pointing things out to you on the route and delving deep into the area’s history. It’s a truly unforgettable experience.”
5.2 River cruising
While European rivers like the Rhine, Danube and Douro remain popular, Flight Centre is seeing surging interest in the Exotics ranges that river cruise companies are coming out with in 2024, including AmaWaterways’ Colombia and Africa itineraries and Uniworld’s Peru and Brazil sailings – not to mention their 55-day Rivers of the World odyssey for those looking for longer, farther-reaching itineraries.
Kelly Darke, Travel Consultant, says: “If you’ve never done a cruise before, I highly recommend a river cruise as the way to enter the world of cruising! A much smaller ship with 100-150 people, you can get right into cities, and experience some towns that perhaps you wouldn’t consider normally.”
Many river cruise lines also offer all-inclusive experiences, with gourmet dining, drinks and daily excursions, often fully escorted by English-speaking guides.
5.3 Cycling Vietnam
For active travellers, a cycling tour across vibrant Vietnam is the perfect opportunity to get moving and meet locals while experiencing culture in an invigorating way. For travellers who have always fancied winding down country lanes, discovering wildlife-filled natural landscapes, characterful villages and lively cities, a two-wheeled adventure could be just the one. And, of course, all that exercise works up a delicious excuse to indulge in Vietnamese cuisine.
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