Mastercard Economics Institute releases Travel Industry Trends 2023 report

Mastercard Economics Institute releases Travel Industry Trends 2023 report

Experiential travel remains a priority and business travel is re-emerging 

The Mastercard Economics Institute has revealed its new Travel Industry Trends 2023 report detailing key insights about the global state of travel, punctuated by shifting economic landscapes and consumer demands.

The report reveals that, post-pandemic preferences for experiences over possessions and a consistent demand for leisure travel are shaping the 2023 outlook. 

Potentially influenced by social media and entertainment, travellers are landing in lesser-known destinations in search of cultural immersion. As of March 2023, global spending on experiences was up 65% while spending on items is up 12% compared to 2019.


Initially lagging behind leisure travel, business travel found its footing in the second half of 2022, with companies prioritising a return to the office. 

According to the findings, leisure and business travel are growing at the same pace and global leisure travel remains robust, with flight bookings up roughly 31% in March 2023 compared to the same month in 2019.

Though economies in the Asia Pacific region are obvious beneficiaries of China's opening, given their strong ties to international trade and tourism, and geographical proximity, Mastercard Economics Institute estimates that other countries expected to benefit include northern Europe – particularly Germany and France – and Brazil, which could see a boost in exports to China as the economy recovers.

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Mastercard Economics Institute chief economist for Asia David Mann said: “In 2023, travel came roaring back in Asia as China re-opened its borders and other markets eased the last of their pandemic-era travel restrictions. 

"As people around the world prioritise experiences over things, the strong demand for travel is expected to last far beyond the initial ‘revenge travel’ bump. As we look ahead to the peak summer travel season, the big question is whether flight and accommodation supply can keep up with demand.”

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