Global Travel Trends Q3 2023: AI and Air Travel Take Flight

Determined to get away, travelers are after the best value for their trips. Read the Q3 global trends on how travel needs are evolving.
Updated on December 15, 2023

In any given year, the third quarter is a prime time for summer travel across the globe. However, this year’s Q3 travel landscape held a distinctive character. With high costs throughout the industry, travelers worldwide found themselves in a unique position, balancing their determination for adventure with discernment to maximize the value of their trips. 

To help marketers understand today’s travelers, Criteo tapped into our dataset of more than 2,000 travel players and surveyed over 10,000 travelers globally. Here are the travel trends that define the state of global travel in Q3. 

Air travel bookings continue to rise 

More people around the world are eager to get away. Notably, APAC travelers generated the largest increase in air travel bookings year-on-year compared to other global regions. APAC’s September 2023 air travel bookings soared an impressive +23% compared to the year prior. 

Following closely behind, the Americas reported a strong +15% increase in bookings during the same period. In contrast, the EMEA region saw a more modest +8% uptick in flight bookings.  

Source: Indexed Air Travel Bookings compared to September 2022. Same set of Travel players with stable tracking of online bookings. Global.

More travelers are also opting to venture further away. When it comes to international destinations, air travel bookings increased YoY in the Americas (+8.3%), APAC (+7.3%), and EMEA (+1.3%). 

Travelers are taking increased costs into account 

Around the world, 70% of travelers are thinking about their trip’s full budget—considering expenses for transportation, accommodations, food, and activities. This price-conscious mindset is particularly strong among APAC travelers (73%), followed by US travelers (69%) and European travelers (64%). 

As a result, travelers want the most value for their money. More than half of travelers around the world see special offers as a top factor when considering travel providers.  

Travelers are also growing more interested in offers that reward their loyalty. Globally, more than 1 in 4 travelers are influenced by loyalty programs.  

Source: Criteo Survey – Consumer Travel Preferences, September 14-30, 2023, Global, N=10,250

AI is a growing travel tool 

In Q3, 1 in 5 travelers have already used AI-driven tools to plan their getaways. 

Travelers anticipate that AI can be particularly helpful for finding attractive destinations (43%) or suggesting accommodations (40%). 

AI has the potential to transform the entire travel industry, influencing every travel touchpoint. More than 1 in 4 global travelers believe that AI would be useful for planning their entire trip. 

Source: Criteo Survey – Consumer Travel Preferences, September 14-30, 2023, Global, N=10,250

Gearing up for new year getaways 

Now, in the fourth quarter of the year, is a crucial moment for marketers to start planning how they can proactively engage travelers during the new year’s peak spending season. 

Based on Criteo data from a global aggregate of travel providers, indexed travel bookings skyrocket +50% during the first weeks of January, as consumers shift their focus from holiday retail shopping to travel reservations for the new year ahead. 

Equally striking, trips booked during these early weeks of January have an average anticipation period (time between booking completion to start of trip) of 41 days. 

Grow your travel customer base  

From catering to the budget-conscious explorer to empowering the inquisitive researcher with AI-driven chat tools, it’s essential for marketers to craft experiences that resonate throughout the entire customer journey. 

Elevate your approach to acquiring and retaining travel customers with Commerce Growth. Leveraging the world’s largest open commerce dataset, Criteo’s solutions help marketers tailor enticing product offerings and creative content to trigger interactions, visits, engagement, and, conversions.

Register for immediate access to the Commerce Travel Insights webinar, where experts from Criteo and Skift share the latest global trends across all travel categories to help maximize your campaigns.

For even more global commerce data, visit Criteo’s Seasonal Travel Dashboard and Commerce Trends Dashboard.

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Elizabeth Kim

Elizabeth Kim is a Global Content Strategist captivated by technology, culture, and consumer behavior. Before joining the world of adtech, Elizabeth crafted brand and content strategies at agencies for clients spanning startups to household name giants. Outside of work, Elizabeth finds creative ...

Global Content Strategist
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