Traveling is fun! It also has a lot of benefits as it exposes us to new places, new cultures, and new experiences. Travel can help us achieve peace as we venture out and broaden our minds.
Traveling can be many people’s main choice when they want to unwind, or break repetitive patterns in their life.
That being said, there’s a wide variety of experiences to be had within the travel landscape. Almost every destination has a unique perspective and different approach to travel and tourism.
In this article, we’ll explore relevant travel statistics and facts for 2023. These statistics will help you understand the travel industry and the world as a whole. These statistics and facts are curated from a variety of sources and will give you a wide picture of the travel industry.
Sustainable Travel Statistics and Facts
1. In April 2022, 75% of British travelers said they want to travel sustainably. Additionally, 76% of consumers said they would get more eco-conscious. 54% reported focusing more on the issue of plastics.
2. 89% of travelers in the United States find sustainable travel very important.
3. Sustainable tourism focuses on creating better places not just to visit but also to live. It helps maintain the natural culture and environment of the area while also employing locals and empowering them to live in their community throughout the year without any compulsion to alter it for tourists. A great way to support local residents is through patronizing homestays and independent hostels.
4. When you support locally-run businesses and tour guides, you can better learn about their environment and culture directly from the local people. There is less chance of being fed the scripted, tourist-friendly data, and you get first-hand insight into life as a local, appreciating the community for what it is.
5. Most travelers are mindful of the environment. 59% of travelers globally would increase their travel spending to achieve sustainability.
6. 33% of travelers prefer traveling during off-peak seasons.
7. According to Booking.com, 66% of travelers intend to meet new people while on vacation.
8. According to Exodus Travels, 44% of travelers agree that it’s important that their travel is beneficial to the local community in that particular destination. A further 29% are going to research more about how their travel spending will impact local communities.
9. According to Travel Agent Central, 44% of travelers prefer travel websites or apps that recommend sustainable destinations, such as Hidden Lemur. 97% of travelers want authentic experiences that embrace local cultures, while 81% want their travel spending to go back to the local community.
General Travel Statistics
1. Tourism was responsible for 9% of the global GDP and 1 out of 11 jobs, as of 2015, according to the UNWTO. The UNWTO further estimates that tourism will grow to 1.8 billion international visits by the year 2030.
2. Vacation is essential for most people. According to the Expedia Traveler Value Index, more than a third of travelers would trade a pay raise for more vacation days. According to a Booking.com study, 66% of travelers say vacation time will be strictly work-free.
3. Most travelers expect to spend more on travel than other aspects of their life such as entertainment, healthcare, and buying or maintaining a car.
4. Most travelers look for adventure when traveling. According to Expedia’s Traveler Value Index, 75% of travelers are likely to choose a destination they’ve never visited before.
5. According to CNBC, 31% of Americans are more interested in international than domestic travel in 2023.
Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Travel and Tourism Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the travel business significantly. With lockdowns imposed, borders closed, hotels closed, and people opting to stay home, tourism took a massive blow. Here are some statistics on how the pandemic affected the travel and tourism industry:
1. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), 62 million jobs were lost globally due to the pandemic. 49.1% of GDP was lost globally due to reduced tourism activities as a result of the pandemic.
2. In Africa, GDP reduced from $169 billion to $86 billion, a net change of -49.2%. Additionally, 7 million jobs were lost.
3. The total travel GDP went down by 53.7% in the Asia-Pacific region, from $3.06 trillion to $1.417 trillion. Additionally, 34 million jobs were lost.
4. In Europe, tourism and travel GDP declined by 51.4%, from $2.19 billion in 2019 to $1.066 billion in 2020, with more than 3.6 million jobs lost in the process. However, the situation was relatively well managed by job retention schemes introduced in most European countries.
5. In the Americas, travel and tourism-related GDP went down by 42.4%, from $2.48 to 1.43. Also, the pandemic leads to a loss of 11.8 million jobs across North America, the Caribbean, and South America.
6. In the Middle East, tourism GDP dropped by $51.1% from $270 billion to $132 billion, with $1.2 million jobs lost.
U.S Travel Statistics
1. New York City is the safest destination for solo travelers, according to a survey by VacationRenter. More than half of Solo travelers rank NYC as the safest and most popular destination in the world. Other most popular destinations include Washington D.C, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Orleans.
2. According to CBS New York, 55 million people traveled for Thanks giving Day in 2022. 80% of travelers choose to travel by car during this holiday, according to Cars.com.
3. According to the Travelers Association, international visitors are estimated to spend around USD 118 billion in 2023.
4. 24.8% of U.S. travelers intend to socialize while on vacation, while 52% choose to stay in places with plenty of nightlife so they can meet new people.
Asia-Travel Travel Statistics
1. Asia-Pacific Travel is expected to rise by 71% in 2023.
2. According to Airbus, the demand for air transport is expected to grow exponentially. The company expects the number of passenger and freight aircraft to increase by 39,000 by 2040.
3. Before the pandemic, tourism amounted to 12% of Thailand’s GDP. This has dropped to about 1% and a loss of $50 billion in revenue and 3 million jobs. Thailand is expected to attract more than 20 million foreign arrivals this year, down from 40 million in 2019.
Europe Travel Statistics
European residents are among the most avid travelers. According to Eurostate Statics Explained, E.U. residents aged over 15 made 879 million tourism trips in 2021. However, full recovery is expected to be achieved by 2024.
Here are more statistics about European Travel in 2022 from Europe:
1. England (39.4), Spain (83.7 million), France (66.6 million), and Italy (64.5) account for most of Europe’s total travel. Spain was the most visited country in 2022, accounting for 15% of all trips made by European residents.
2. Summer and Christmas are the peak seasons for domestic travel. Nearly a quarter of trips by European residents occur in the summer months of July and August.
3. A total of 1.01 billion overnight stays were recorded in 2022. In 2022, residents made over 579.1 million nights on domestic flights, and 289.6 million nights were spent on international trips.
Outdoor Travel Statistics
1. Hiking is among the most popular ways to explore the outdoors. There are more hikers in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. It is thought that in 2022/2023 there will be 51.20 million hikers.
2. Canada is one of the most hikeable countries in the world. In Canada, there are an estimated 18,000 hiking trails.
3. Camping is highly popular in the U.S and Canada as well. According to the 2022 Camp Report, 23% more US citizens went camping, which is a two-thirds increase in four years.
4. Backpacks are highly popular among travelers. The global backpack market is expected to grow by a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% from 2021-2025.
5. More travelers are embracing reusable water bottles and ditching plastics. The global reusable water bottle market is estimated to grow by a CAGR of 4.3% from 2021-2028.
Family Travel Statistics
1. Most families research travel options before setting out. An estimated 59% of families report using information from websites to plan their travel.
2. The average annual family travel spending is $3,835. In terms of a family of four, the average trip is estimated to cost $4,580.
3. The number of family trips is expected to rise significantly in 2023.
4. 72% of parents prefer staying in hotels due to the numerous hotel perks that hotels provide. These include bonus points on credit cards, free Wifi, and more.
1. 74% of travelers agree that technology is important to them while on vacations. 63% of travelers say technology helps alleviate travel anxiety.
2. According to a survey conducted in the industry, contactless technology will be in full swing in 2023 and will be mostly applied in hotel check-ins, airports, lifts and elevators, and more. Experts project that the self-checkout Counter Market is expected to reach multi-million by 2028.
3. Over 37% of people use social media to choose travel destinations. Millennials are the majority of social media users, with 86% having used social media to find specific travel inspiration. Also, 40% of millennials use blogs to plan their vacations. 69% of worldwide travelers say they use social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and more while traveling.
4. Both Facebook and Instagram play a crucial role in tourism marketing. More than 52% of travelers like Facebook pages related to their planned trips.
5. Each week, travelers search more than 1 million+ travel hashtags across social media channels.
Facts About Irresponsible Travel in the World
1. Bali is one of the most polluted travel destinations in the world. According to Bali.com, four of Indonesia’s rivers are among the top 20 most polluted rivers in the world due to poor plastic waste management.
2. The 1,032-hectare island of Boracay in the Philippines generates 67 tons of trash daily, mostly due to excessive tourism. Boracay was shut down for six months to allow it to recover from the excessive waste dumped by visitors, but the waste problems relapsed when the island reopened.
3. Hawaii is among North America’s most over traveled destinations. Overtourism is a growing concern for the residents of Hawaii, especially as visitor numbers continue to rise.
4. In 2019, Santorini, Greece, capped the number of tourists at 8,000 a day. This was done to reduce the strain on the island and curb the effects of overtourism.
Red Beach, Santorini Photo by Archana Reddy on Unsplash
5. In 2019, the Peruvian government capped the number of tourists in the Machu Picchu to 2,244 a day.
6. In 2019, the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, considered banning restaurants from adding outside tables and chairs.
7. Tuscany, Italy, introduced fines of $555 for anyone found eating outside shops and in doorways. This fine aims to reduce littering. Additionally, the beach of La Pelosa charges around $4.45 for admissions, intending to cut 1,500 visitors each day.
8. Overtourism in Barcelona caused rent to increase by over 50% from 2014 to 2018. Amsterdam, another city facing overtourism, introduced a €4 per person per night tourist tax.
9. Negative environmental impacts of tourism can include loss of biodiversity, climate change, depletion of natural resources, wasted water resources, changes in land use, congestion, degradation of natural ecology, pollution, visual clutter, and aesthetic pollution, air pollution, noise pollution, historic site degradation, deforestation, unsustainable use of land, and coastline, reef, and mangrove destruction. The goal of sustainable tourism is not only to curb these effects but also to counter them, to contribute to the regeneration of the environment, the cultural sites, and the social fabric of the destination.
10. In Canada, particularly during the pandemic, many Provincial Parks experienced over-use, putting a strain on the natural ecology of many landscapes. This prompted government sectors like Ontario Parks to establish pre-booking schedules to better manage the consistency of the number of hikers using many of its most popular hiking trails.
Other Travel Statistics
1. Nearly 48% of travelers are more likely to book through new sites and companies that they haven’t used before. Meanwhile, 53% of travelers want to trust that a provider will deliver on their promises.
2. According to HospitalityNet, CBRE predicts a full financial recovery from the impact of covid related limits on travel in 2023.
1. Forbes predicts that in 2023, more people will be taking local trips within their countries. 59% of travelers said they prefer to visit places near their destinations while 90% prefer adventures while enjoying the local lifestyle.
1. Cultural engagement is crucial to travelers of color. 85% of people of color value cultural engagement with other communities when choosing a travel destination.
2. 51% of travelers strive to interact with other communities and learn about new cultures.
1. More travelers want to make short getaway trips. 48% want shorter trips compared to 28% who want longer trips. Japan is one of the most popular destinations for quick getaways, with 58% of global travelers preferring it to other countries.
Health/Wellness Benefits of Travel
1. 33% of travelers think travel makes them more well-rounded.
Fun Travel Facts
While travel can be fun, relaxing, and adventurous, it has numerous extremes that you may never have come across. Here are some fun, intriguing travel facts to get you hooked:
1. Travel is scientifically proven to make people more empathetic.
2. Research has shown that frequent travelers have better mental health.
3. At 9,259 km, the Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest train ride in the world.
Section of the Trans- Siberian Highway
4. China has the longest railway network. With 37000 kilometers and an additional 3000 km of the railway network being constructed, China has by far the most impressive railway system in the world.
5. Emil and Liliana Schmid (Switzerland) have traveled the longest driven journey (743,000 km). They have traveled to over 190 countries, almost 99% of the total sovereign countries in the world. Their journey started in 1984 and is still ongoing.
6. The world’s longest walk is a 14000-mile Journey from Cape Town, South Africa to Magadan, Russia to the Far East of Siberia. This journey is estimated to take at least 8 months and travels through 17 countries. When walking 8 hours a day every day, this can take an estimated 587 days. When walking continuously, it can take an estimated 194 days.
7. The travel industry in the U.K employs over 4 million people.
8. The Great Wildebeest Migration is the largest animal migration in the world. An estimated 2 million animals (wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras) cross from Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya).
The Great Wildebeest Migration: Photo by Jorge Tung on Unsplash
9. The Praia do Cassino Beach in Brazil is the longest beach in the world, stretching over 150 miles.
10. The shortest flight in the world is under two minutes, from Westray Island to Papa Westray Island in Scotland.
11. An estimated 23 million people travel by train in India every day.
12. Papua New Guinea has over 1000 ethnic communities, being the most culturally diverse country in the world. It also has over 800 distinct languages.
13. Hiking has been proven to improve mood and elevate the feel-good hormones.
14. Canada has a record of over 2 million lakes, making it the most for any country. Finland, 30x smaller than Canada, also has a massive number of lakes, approximately 188,000. It’s referred to as Land of A Thousand Lakes.
15. Geographically, China covers 5 time zones (Changbai, Tibet, Longshu, Kunlun, and Zhongyuan time zones). However, it uses the standard time for mainland China (UTC+8).
16. New York’s Central Park is larger than the principality of Monaco.
17. According to the Global Advisory and Accounting Network, consumers are increasingly seeking travel destinations that align with green values and commitment to minimize the negative impact on travel. As a result, more travel businesses have had to rethink how they run their travel businesses.
18. The unspoiled forests of Siberia, Russia, contribute to 25% of the world’s forests, and they contribute most of the Oxygen on the planet. These woods capture 15% of the world’s carbon.
19. Japan has one of the most impressive railway systems. Below the railway lines are purpose-built turtle tunnels to ensure they don’t get overrun by trains.
20. With an average of 2 people per square mile, Mongolia is the least populated place in the world.
21. Las Vegas City, Nevada, has the most hotel rooms in the world.
22. India is the most diverse country globally, whether economically, socially, culturally, geographically, or racially.
23. There are over 19,000 airports in the U.S. The Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest globally, with around 103 million travelers every year..
24. Russia spans 11 time zones. Ideally, you can celebrate New Year multiple times within 24 hours.
Tourism Trends for 2023
Here are some tourism predictions for 2023 that will likely shape the travel industry:
1. Emphasis on Safety & Hygiene
Many countries have experienced the adverse impact of the pandemic and have placed a huge concern over safety and hygiene. The need to maintain better hygiene will continue into 2023 to help curb further infections.
2. Active Tourism
According to Amadeus, activity-based tourism will prevail in 2023. Two-thirds of travelers consider sustainable travel a priority, while 37% of travelers think opportunities for the preservation of tourist destinations can help the travel industry become more sustainable. More tourism operators are promising to offer a measurable and positive impact on the environment.
3. Growth of Contactless Payments
The growth of contactless payment will grow higher in 2023 than in previous years. That is because, unlike cash, contactless payments are more safe and convenient.
With contactless payments, it’s easier to make quick transactions in the tourism sector. You can travel conveniently without carrying your wallet.
The pandemic has also led to the growth of contactless payments. Most businesses prefer online transactions to cash to reduce direct person-to-person contact.
5. Technology Will Be On the Forefront of Travel in 2023
The pandemic has led to the rise of new technologies such as virtual travel and augmented reality. V.R. helps travelers to take virtual trips from the comfort of their homes. Through V.R., you can experience virtual travels to popular destinations, hotel and restaurant interiors, famous landmarks, and more. Augmented reality combined with virtual elements helps to enjoy real-world experiences.
VR also has an interesting positive impact on the sustainability of the environment and cultural sites, as there are physically fewer people walking around at the actual places.