Forecasting what might happen in travel in 2023 is a hard ask.
Much of the industry, Asia being the exception, has recovered from the pandemic and reached or surpassed 2019 business volumes in some cases.
But the war in Ukraine, high inflation, fuel prices and the cost of labor are putting pressure on economies and consumers.
Travel experts at the Executive Panel: Pundits & Predictions session at the The Phocuswright Conference, who have experienced many ups and downs in the industry over the years, were divided over what the first half of 2023 will look like.
Timothy Hughes, vice president of corporate development at Agoda, says Asia still has a further six to 12 months of pent-up demand with Japan and Korean recently opening and causing an “explosion” and China expected to open up next year.
Others weren’t so optimistic: Timothy O'Neil-Dunne, principal of T2Impact, sees a potential “bloodbath” in the first quarter of the year.
Meanwhile, Flo Lugli, principal of Navesink Advisory Group, believes 2023 will be all about “realignment and refinement” in terms of tackling the shifts in hospitality from the past few years.
Panelists also touched on additional trends including super app dynamics and whether it's needed in the West, fintech in travel and the likelihood of further shifts in travel distribution generally.
Watch the full session moderated by Phocuswright Research founder and analyst Lorraine Sileo in the video below:
Executive Panel: Pundits & Predictions - The Phocuswright Conference