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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Martin Winter

Top tourism trends for 2023 - including 'hidden gems' in the UK

A leading travel company has revealed the biggest tourism trends for 2023 – including “Set-Jetters”, “Hidden Gems”, “New Wave Wellness”, and “Culture Capitals”.

The Expedia Group, which includes and holiday home rental company Vrbo, has been looking into travel and tourism categories that have seen a surge in popularity in the past year – and seem set to continue over the next 12 months.

The Expedia data shows that almost half (44%) are becoming “Set-Jetters” – basing their travel destinations on somewhere they have seen in a streaming TV show or movie.

In fact, more than a third (37%) have already booked a trip to a location they spotted in a movie or TV show – while 46% have researched travelling to such a destination.

Sylvotherapy, or forest bathing, is now among the most popular wellness retreats (Expedia Group)

And data from shows that wellness breaks are bouncing back from 2021 – with more than a 30% increase on 2022 demand, which is set to continue.

The brand also conducted research of 2,000 adults who plan to holiday in the next three years, which found almost a third (31%) have become “bored” with traditional wellness trips, and want to try something more exciting.

The most popular new wave wellness breaks include fruit harvesting and “sylvotherapy”, also known as forest bathing, which is said to link a human’s energy with the forest.

The Expedia Group data also revealed that after nearly two years of visiting national parks and nature reserves, the city is calling with its trend “Culture Capitals”.

The brand found cities such as Edinburgh, Lisbon, and Tokyo come top of their global top 10 destination list.

Jon Gieselman, Expedia Brands president, said: “When we look at Expedia,, and Vrbo data together, we see a detailed and robust picture of travel into 2023.

“We’re seeing a surge in trips to culture capitals, a new wave of interest in wellness retreats, and a spike in demand for outdoor destinations beyond just beaches and mountains.

“Not a new normal, but people branching out to unexpected trends in what we’re calling the “no normal”.”

Globally, found searches for three-star and under hotels were down more than 10% year on year – but interest was up globally by more than 20%.

Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire are the top hidden gems in the UK (Expedia Group)

One in five travellers polled consider a hotel’s star rating as something “very important” to them.

The data also uncovered Vrbo’s, which is also part of Expedia Group, top 10 “Hidden Gems” in the UK, where the holiday homes site found searches have increased by 40% or more in the last year.

These include Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire in England, South Ayrshire and East Lothian in Scotland, and Monmouthshire in Wales.

And the travel company’s research of 2,000 adults in the UK, who travel at least once every three years, found 37% would rather book a cool and unique holiday home in a lesser-known destination, than a boring space in a popular destination.

The brand also found food-specific travel is a trend set to dominate searches in 2023, as British families are increasingly searching for properties with outdoor kitchens, fancy coffee machines, and pizza ovens.

And 44% even go as far as to say these needs are more important than their travel destination, according to the research by OnePoll.


  1. Cambridgeshire, England
  2. Leicestershire, England
  3. Hertfordshire, England
  4. Buckinghamshire, England
  5. South Ayrshire, Scotland
  6. East Lothian, Scotland
  7. Monmouthshire, Wales
  8. Tyne and Wear, England
  9. Midlothian, Scotland
  10. Bath and North East Somerset, England

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