Beyond Borders: International Travel Skyrockets

AAA reports that international travel has increased by 200% this year. The most significant increase was seen in hotel bookings, with a surge of over 300% compared to 2022. As a result, the demand has driven up airfare prices, with international ticket prices increasing by over 30%.

Europe and Canada are the most sought-after international destinations, according to AAA’s booking data. London is the most popular destination, seeing an increase of almost 350%. Other popular European destinations include Rome, Paris, Dublin, and Barcelona. Among the Canadian cities, Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary are the top picks for travelers.

Local Experiences, Food, Wellness, and Set-Jetting

According to the 2023 Global Travel Trends Report by AMEX, travelers are most interested in local experiences, culinary tourism, wellness retreats, and set-jetting in 2023. 

Audrey Hendley, President of American Express Travel, says, “Vacations are precious, and travelers are prioritizing personalized itineraries built around their passions, from planning an entire vacation for a single dinner reservation to getting the perfect video for TikTok.”

Authentic Local Experiences Gain Popularity

Authentic local experiences in travel can provide a unique and immersive way to learn about a new culture. Instead of sticking to typical tourist hotspots, travelers want to venture off the beaten path and engage with locals to gain a deeper understanding of the local way of life. 

This type of travel involves trying local foods at small family-run restaurants, visiting markets or festivals, or participating in traditional activities like dance or crafts. Authentic experiences can offer a more genuine perspective of a destination, allowing travelers to connect with locals and learn about their customs and beliefs. 

Such experiences can also be more sustainable, as they often support local businesses and encourage travelers to be more respectful of the environment and culture they are visiting.

Culinary Tourism, a Deliciously Popular Travel Trend

Culinary tourism, also known as food tourism, has become increasingly popular in recent years. This trend is driven by a growing interest in food culture, as well as the desire to explore new flavors and cuisines.

Culinary tourism can take many forms, from taking a cooking class or food tour to seeking authentic street food or visiting local markets. Travelers are increasingly looking for unique and immersive experiences that allow them to connect with the local culture, and food is a key part of this. 

Wellness Trips: Travelers Prioritize Health and Relaxation

Wellness travel has become a major trend this year, focusing on promoting physical, mental, and emotional well-being with the goal of returning home feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Wellness travel can include yoga, meditation, spa treatments, healthy eating, and outdoor activities like hiking and cycling. In response to this trend, hotels and resorts around the world are offering wellness-focused programs and activities to meet the needs of this growing market.

Set-Jetting: Fans Flock to Movie and TV Filming Locations

Set-jetting, also known as location-based tourism, is a growing trend in the travel industry. This type of travel involves visiting destinations featured in movies, TV shows, and other forms of media. Fans of popular franchises like Emily in Paris or Game of Thrones, for example, may travel to filming locations in order to immerse themselves in the world of their favorite characters. 

Set-jetting can offer a unique and exciting way to explore a destination, as visitors can see famous landmarks and locations they may have only seen on screen. This trend is also driving tourism to lesser-known destinations featured in movies or TV shows, which can help boost local economies. 

Beware of Longer Passport Processing Times

The Department of State has announced the latest processing times for first-time U.S. passport applications. Per the updated information released on March 24, routine processing will take 10-13 weeks, while expedited processing, which comes with an additional $60 fee, will take 7-9 weeks.

At a Congressional budget hearing on March 23, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken revealed that the State Department is receiving “500,000 applications a week for passports” and is facing an “unprecedented demand” for passports.

This article Beyond Borders: International Travel Skyrockets in 2023 originally appeared on Wander With Alex. Photo Credit: [@sergio_pulp/DepositPhotos]


Alexandrea Sumuel - Groves is a nationally syndicated travel writer and founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog. Her work has appeared on MSN, YAHOO!, Euronews, and FOX, ABC, and NBC affiliates across the United States. 

Alex travels to experience, eat, explore, and occasionally escape! She collaborates with destinations, vacation property management companies, and hospitality technology firms to provide her readers with exclusive insights and information.