According to leading travel agency Musafir.com, international travel is on track to grow faster in 2023 than in the current year. According to Sachin Gadoya, co-founder and CEO of Mustafir Business and Official Website, the travel sector accounts for nearly 10 percent of the global GDP, and authorities in all countries keen to achieve the desired level of safety, hygiene, and comfort.
Data and trends collected through inquiries and bookings on the official website show that even with fares for expensive travel classes like First and Business Class increasing by more than 10-15%, passengers are still opting for high-class air travel. Overall, the average corporate travel budget is set to grow more than 18 percent in 2023, bringing it back to pre-pandemic levels.
“Insights obtained from Musafir Business platform establish very clearly that the organizations in the UAE prefer face-to-face interaction for building trust & longevity in their business relationship. With considerably eased travel regulations these days, the average annual business travel spend of SMEs in the UAE is expected to grow by 15-20% in 2023 – from AED185,000 ($50,300) (2022) to AED220,000 (2023), which is indeed very close to the pre-pandemic figure of 2019 i.e. AED250,000.” said Sachin.
Now, issues like pandemic threats and strict travel regulations seem to be gradually easing across the globe. As a result, FY2022 sees an increase in travelers’ confidence in both the leisure and business sectors, even at corporate levels. Therefore, considering how on-site business meetings are being held worldwide with less hesitation, this trend is expected to strengthen in the coming year, 2023.
“Pandemic-led travel restrictions and visa challenges didn’t permit many travelers to visit these destinations. With the situations easing out, the demand for holidays across UK and EU countries will soar in 2023,” Sachin elaborated.
For business travelers, countries such as the GCC, India, the UK, the EU, and the US will continue to be important inbound and outbound destinations with little change as these countries will no longer merely host formal meetings. But actively participate in ceremonial events like exhibitions, conferences, trade shows, etc., to build new and stronger relationships.
It’s no news that Covid has thrown extraordinary challenges at the cruise segment. Therefore, cruises are poised to be one of the most critical tourism trends in 2023, providing travelers with diverse opportunities to explore new destinations and various activities for everyone on the cruise ship.
Musafir.com predicts that the preference of UAE travelers for the list of CIS countries for holiday destinations in 2023 may remain the same as in 2022. Sachin explained the main reasons UAE travelers enjoy visiting CIS countries, firstly the cold weather and, later, the short non-tiring hours of flight duration. He further explained that these destinations provide a family-friendly vacation environment, and the economic deals available at hotels in these destinations play a vital role in attracting tourists from the UAE.
In addition, the Travel platform discovered that UAE leisure travelers prefer to visit countries that offer e-visa, visa-on-arrival, or visa-free destinations as it is more convenient. Passengers’ spend per holiday is also forecast to increase by 15-20% in 2023 compared to 2022 due to rising airfares.
Based on facts and insights in the UAE and Indian technological and innovation hubs, the industry is expected to evolve on a mix of luxury options for budget and outbound leisure travelers, Sachin said. He expressed his vision for budget versus luxury travel demand to remain stable at 50 percent and emphasized flexible fares in the coming year.