Skyscanner sees a price-conscious year ahead

Baku, Azerbaijan has experienced a 31 per cent price drop on Skyscanner and is among the top three best value destinations for 2023

Price led decision making will drive change in 2023 – consumers will still travel but how they spend will differ, says new research from global travel site Skyscanner. Saudi Arabian holidaymakers are expecting another strong year of travel despite economic uncertainty, but price-led decision making will drive change in 2023, according to Skyscanner’s Travel Trends 2023: The year of price-driven decisions.

Savvy consumers are shopping around and pocket friendly destinations are leading the way. Consumers are swapping sunbathing for forest bathing as immersing in nature will be a priority – both for mental health and to avoid price peaks around beach destinations.

‘Me time’ set to make the mainstream next year says the report with over half of travellers in Saudi Arabia considering a solo trip in 2023.

Travel remains a priority: as consumers today look to make better, informed decisions about their discretionary spend, 62 per cent of Saudi Arabia consumers are planning more holidays next year compared to 2023, and over a quarter (27 per cent) are thinking of going on the same number of holidays. Just 4 per cent are planning to holiday less next year. The rising cost of living is still a concern, but 40 per cent have decided to prioritise holidays next year over other big-ticket items.

Shift in spending: 85 per cent of Saudi Arabian travellers are planning to spend the same if not more on travel abroad next year, whilst only 8 per cent are planning to spend less.

Solo travelling is no longer a niche: 56 per cent of Saudi Arabian travellers are looking to escape solo next year. Taking time for themselves is top of mind, with 44 per cent of travellers citing a solo travel trip being important for their mental health wellness, with one week deemed the perfect duration to help the mind unwind.

Sustainability: Sustainable travel continues to grow in consideration for travellers’ decision making: travel related sustainability is important to 4 out of 5 global respondents (81 per cent). For more than 1 in 4 (28 per cent) it’s even more important now, than prior to the pandemic. With price-led decision making and sustainable travel both top of mind, 15 per cent are considering new, alternative destinations for travel as they are cheaper to visit.

Nature first: Wildlife spotting and hiking are in the top five of travel activities planned for holidays, suggesting the pandemic’s emphasis on getting outside for walks and connecting with the local environment is now transferring as a key component of travel plans. Interacting with the environment and watching animals has mood-boosting properties. 

Making work work for you (and your wallet): A third of Saudi Arabian travellers surveyed (32 per cent) plan to work while on holiday next year, a strategic move for which the top reasons being that respondents ‘enjoy working while travelling’ and ‘it suits the people I’m travelling with’.

Future travel: Advances in supersonic technology could re-define short-haul travel and Skyscanner’s report reveals 33 per cent of travellers believe it will be a mainstream flight option in the future. About 31 per cent think virtual reality holidays that are so real they are indistinguishable from real life will be the norm. Some 27 per cent expect to holiday amongst the stars in their lifetime, climbing aboard space craft for Earth sight-seeing day trips to the edge of space and longer trips beyond.

* Skyscanner’s report analyses survey data from 2,000 consumers in Saudi Arabia and beyond as well as search and redirect data