Here comes my final 10 travel industry predictions for 2023

Here comes my final 10 travel industry predictions for 2023

During the past twenty years, over 70% of my predictions have come true. Listed below are my final 10 of 40 predictions for the year. If you missed the first 30 predictions, CLICK HERE

#31 – Some European cities will charge tourists a $10 daily visitor fee – Fearing that some major tourist cities are getting too crowded some cities are considering implementing a daily visitor fee to hopefully slow down the casual tourist from overcrowding the city. Venice, Italy, planned to implement the fee but backed off as COVID pulled the rug from under the idea. Once the concept of a daily visitor fee is implemented, I could see that some cities will go to the next step and issue permits for admission only during certain times of the day. This would stagger when visitors come into the city with the hope that it takes overcrowding away. I don’t like this idea, but I bet we see it come back in future years.

#32 – 2023 will be the year I have enough confidence to travel without my wallet – For years, I have been saying that technology now allows us to travel using our mobile phones to check in using mobile board passes, charge for gas using apple pay, add prepaying for airline tickets and hotels, plus Uber for transportation and you really should not need your wallet to travel. This is the year I plan to take the plunge.

#33 – Is this the year Hertz and Avis Car Rental finally start offering “No-show” fees? – For the last 10 years, I have been predicting that car rental companies will start charging a “no-show” fee if you did not show up for your car rental. Avis and Hertz once again are foaming at the mouth to kick this idea off by charging this fee to vacation renters. Enterprise/National, which is the largest car rental company, has put the brakes on the idea for the last 10 years, but their competitors see so much revenue with these new fees that they will go ahead and launch these new fees in 2023 regardless if National says “No”. 

#34. One of every three hotel rooms will go empty in 2023 – Hotels rebounded strongly in 2022 as the post-COVID vacation travel fueled the pent-up demand and helped fill empty hotel rooms. Even with this improvement, almost 1 out of 3 hotel rooms will go empty in 2023. 

#35 – You will need training before you get into your next rental car – I recently rented a Hybrid car, and there were more bells and whistles in the car than lights on a Christmas tree. There was a place to fill with gas and a place to plug in (but never could find a charging station). I could not tell how and when to use the electric vs gas. I was also confused about how many miles I had left before refilling/recharging.  In the future, I would like a QR code they have on the dashboard that has a YouTube video that explains how to run the vehicle.

#36 – Southwest Airlines will start issuing seat assignments this year – As the airline continues to grow and attract business travelers, it is starting to become more and more like the other large airlines. Their new CEO is hinting that seat assignments may be the next step in their evolution. 

#37 – The hottest travel trend of women traveling with groups of other women will get even bigger in 2023 – Five years ago, Executive Travel launched” Women of the Midwest”, which were women-only travel groups. The concept has taken off like wildfire, and we expect this to continue exponentially as women have the money and time to travel and want the safety and security of traveling with other women.  To see our many tours visit 

#38. Some travelers will avoid Seattle, Portland, Chicago, San Francisco, and Minneapolis in 2023 – These cities got a really black eye from the civil unrest, looting, and demonstrations shown in the press that will cause some to stay clear of them in 2023. I personally would have no problem with visiting any or all of these cities, however, some will argue these cities lost a lot of their charm in the past few years. Perhaps we all have lost some of our charm these last few years.

#39 – You will have more fun walking in the Walmart parking lot than cruising to Nassau – Can you imagine 30,000 people all disembarking 6 mega cruise ships in Nassau, Bahamas all at the same time? As I was pushing and shoving through the jungle of humanity to try to make it to the Nassau straw market to show the grandkids all the fun trinkets and trash, it suddenly dawned on me…This is crazy! Why would I send anyone into this environment for a “vacation”?

#40. Mexico is becoming marginally safe country to travel to in 2023 – Mexico, historically, has been the fun and sun capital for American travelers who want an easy and inexpensive getaway. All-inclusive resorts have taken over much of Mexico and offer the “put your wallet in the safe” way to relax and get away from it all. With great beaches and cheap flights, Mexico has been magnetic to Americans, especially in the winter months. With all the civil unrest, killing, and turf wars between gangs, I think I would prefer going to islands in the Caribbean instead of Mexico in 2023, as Mexico is taking the “fun” out of the equation. 

Bonus Predictions 

Bonus #41. Governments will add so much taxes to airfares that sometimes the taxes will be more than the airfare – You won’t believe this. I recently researched an airfare from Frankfurt Germany to Dublin, Ireland, and found a $40 airfare with $84.90 taxes for a total cost of $124.90. Basically, you pay 2X in taxes compared to the airfare. CRAZY.

Bonus #42. Americans will stampede to Hawaii this year – Some people post-covid are still not ready to travel internationally. Hawaii is their ace in the hole. Hawaii is a great option compared to Mexico and the Caribbean. 

Bonus #43 – It will be cheaper to cruise than to stay in assisted living – You do the math. A seven-day cruise can cost as low as about $75 a day. Living in an assisted living center is over $100 a day. I can’t wait to retire! 

Bonus #45 – Car rental taxes can add up to 60% to the cost of renting a car – I know when you read this, many of you will shake your heads in disgust. Local city governments are becoming addicted to taxing the new traveler coming to town.

Bonus #46 – Travel advisors are the new rock stars of travel – COVID has taken a confusing travel industry and made it even more complex with all the rules and regulations now being implemented by airlines, airports, hotels, cities, counties, and countries. The value proposition of travel agents has grown exponentially in the last three years, and they make it “easy” to travel. One call does it all as travel advisors have fixed millions of unused tickets and basically bring tremendous value of saving people time, money, and provide advice to make your travel go smoothly.

Bonus #47 – The Nebraska football team will win the BIG 10 West Division this year – This is our breakout season. New coach. New players. Hope springs eternal!

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