Inflation and higher living costs may be weighing on consumers’ wallets, but there’s one area where many are unwilling to cut back: their desire to travel. Almost one third (31%) of travelers said that they intend to spend more on travel this year than they did in 2022, according to a recent report from the World Travel and Tourism Council and booking site Trip.com.
That’s after the vast majority (86%) of respondents said last year that they were upping their 2019 travel budgets. Consumers are “spending more on travel than any other experience,” Julia Simpson, president and CEO of the WTTC, said Monday at the opening of the ITB Berlin travel conference.
“We are now growing strong and getting back to — or even exceeding — 2019 levels,” she said of the travel sector. The number of people willing to fork out more on travel could be even higher, as costs rise.
More than four in 10 people (43%) said that they would increase their travel budget in 2023, while one third (31%) would keep it the same, Expedia Group’s latest survey of 11,000 people across 11 countries found.
“That’s significant, given the economic headwinds we’re hearing about,” said Jennifer Andre, global vice president of business development at Expedia Group Media Solutions, whille presenting the report Wednesday at ITB Berlin.
That figure nevertheless still falls short of industry expectations — one in six (58%) travel professionals had anticipated that holidaymakers will spend more this year.
That mismatch could leave travelers wanting.
“There’s a real disconnect between travelers and the industry,” Andre said.