Ever felt stuck when consulting with a client?
Sometimes, would-be travelers arrive to your store (or send an email, or pick up the phone) full of excitement and inspiration, but a slight lack of direction. Perhaps they’ve seen something on Instagram that caught their eye, or they’ve recently finished watching a documentary/tv show about a particular destination. Maybe they’re subscribed to a particular travel magazine, packed with colorful photos which burst into life and can’t help picturing themselves at the center of the scene.
Quite often, traveler choices are inspired by what’s seen in the media – but that doesn’t always mean that they themselves know when exactly to travel to their ideal destination, especially since some of the most well-covered and attractive travel events tend to fall on a slightly different date per year.
To help you navigate the next twelve months (and to satisfy your clients’ cravings to make the most of 2023 - revenge travel seems set to explode), we’ve compiled a list of key dates and events that you need to know.
Bookmark this page and be sure to revisit any time your clients want to book an unforgettable, eventful escape!
Don't forget, you can keep an eye on what's trending in your market - and forecast upcoming in-demand destinations up to 9 months in the future! - using our powerful search tool The Compass. Driven by AI and updated with market data daily, this is a travel advisors' best friend when it comes to staying ahead of the curve.
So, here are some key 2023 travel event dates we think you should keep in mind...
2023 has already begun, but that doesn’t mean that you should disregard the power of the New Year – it’s possible that your clients are still basking in the afterglow of fireworks, champagne and the sense of celebration that marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. With a reported 79% of travelers planning to book at least two leisure trips this year, now is the perfect time to capitalize on those new year’s resolutions to ‘travel more’ – check out our guide to the top travel trends for 2023 to see where you clients could choose to head next.
A prime example of key events which don’t always fall at the same time each year, the start of Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) is typically dictated by the second new moon after the winter solstice. This year, the event falls on January 22nd. 2023 is the year of the rabbit, so expect to see cute bunny motifs at every turn!
Chinese New Year isn’t only celebrated in China: as one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture, celebrations will take place worldwide in regions and countries with significant overseas Chinese populations, including Singapore, Malaysia and even Australia. From the telling of fortunes to a sky full of fireworks (and bellies full of delicious festive fare such as spring rolls and noodles!), this is an unmissable occasion for the Asian population, those of Chinese heritage, or those with appreciation for the culture.
The NFL season is well underway, and the sporting event of the year is fast approaching. While we don’t yet know which teams will be battling it out for the top spot, we do know that superstar Rihanna will make her long-awaited comeback in the halftime show – and for some people, that’s worth the admittance cost alone. Still, popstar or no (and regardless of which two teams make it to the final), the Super Bowl is one of the most beloved and major events in the calendar, with 1 in 5 Americans calling in sick to work the following day with a sudden (and suspicious) case of football fever.
Additionally, the NFL themselves have reportedly claimed in the past that the Super Bowl can bring in $300-$400 million for the host city – huge figures, if accurate, and excellent news for your business. This year, the event is to be hosted in Arizona and will fall on February 12th, and while it’s unlikely that your clients will be able to secure tickets at this late stage, there may still be demand for flights to Arizona/the States in general, plus an uptick in accommodation bookings for groups of friends or families.
For the amorously inclined, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to woo a loved one – perhaps with a weekend escape to a famously romantic city, such as Paris and Venice. As well as being a prime time to secure hotel bookings (including those in key areas, or with special features), Valentine’s Day could also present an opportunity for you to upsell with activities.
Why not book them a cooking class to try something new, or experience the passsion of Flamenco dancing in Barcelona; or a relaxing cruise on a private gondola gazing up at Venice's city sights. All of these experiences can be booked through our Booking Engine, an exclusive platform for our travel partners!
Held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Rio Carnival attracts guests and participants in their millions, including hundreds of thousands of visitors from overseas. This annual festival is a visual and auditory feast: with its colorful parades, elaborate costumes, lively music and spirited dancing, this is a unique cultural experience which allows locals and guests to the city to immerse themselves wholeheartedly in Brazilian culture. Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful city in its own right, so consider sending your clients just before the celebrations begin! If a trip to Brazil isn’t on the cards, other Carnival celebrations are held around the world in destinations such as New Orleans, the Dominican Republic, and in regions with Latin communities.
The Hindu ‘festival of colors’ is a unique cultural experience with undeniable allure: while Holi is rooted in ancient, meaningful traditions and beliefs (it is said to be a celebration of the victory of good over evil), it is also a fun and festive event. Host countries such as India and Nepal burst into life around the beginning of March as colored powder and water is thrown between attendees in a joyful and lively atmosphere. Marking the beginning of Spring, Holi is also an opportunity for those of the Hindu faith (or respectful observers) to let go of any long-held grudges, instead choosing to forgive, forget, and indulge in food such as dahi vada and ladoos.
A public holiday in the North and Republic of Ireland, St Patrick’s day is a celebration certain to charm its attendees – including the estimated 100,000 visitors who descend on Dublin for the occasion each year. From festivals and parades to an uptick in cultural tours (and, undoubtedly, visits to the pub!), this jovial event is a beloved part of Irish culture and is a fantastic opportunity for hosting cities or villages to demonstrate their famous Irish hospitality.
Despite being an Irish event, St Patrick’s Day is also celebrated in a big way over in the United States: according to a 2022 survey, 54% of respondents said that they were planning to mark the occasion with gatherings, parades, and even by dyeing the Chicago River a shade of kelly green.
Although the month-long religious observance of Ramadan may not seem like an obvious opportunity for travel marketing (this is a time where Muslims abstain from food, drink and other physical pleasures during daylight hours), there is still some potential for bookings to be made. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and across the three-day festivities, it’s likely that members of the Muslim community will be on the move as they seek to be with their families. Prepare any offers that you might have well in advance and market them well, as flights and hotels are sure to book out.
The grand re-emergence of Japan in 2022 set the travel world alight: with restrictions lifted and borders now fully open, the Land of the Rising Sun has skyrocketed to the top of many tourist’s ‘revenge travel’ checklists and is sure to benefit from an influx of bookings in 2023, especially around Hana Matsuri. Otherwise referred to as ‘cherry blossom season’, Hana Matsuri celebrates the birth of the Buddha, his enlightenment and his death; this transience is also reflected by the sakura’s own fleeting presence.
Cities like Kyoto, Himeji and Tokyo are top choices for tourists wishing to view cherry blossoms, although other locations – from Kawaguchiko to Kushiro – are equally as gorgeous, and offer cheaper, off-the-beaten-path experiences for those looking to save a little money or to battle fewer crowds.
Top tip: keep an eye on the Japanese Weather Association for a forecast of when and where blossoms will bloom, as sakura season actually runs all the way from March until May!
Not necessarily the main reason for travel, but a window of time to squeeze in a quick getaway, Easter presents an opportunity for advisors to engage in a spot of seasonal marketing. Consider creative campaign ideas, like secret discounts (or ‘Easter eggs’) hidden on your website, or unique, one-time promo codes sent straight to your clients’ inbox. For those with clients based in the UK, remember that Easter is celebrated over a four-day weekend: this year, British travelers will celebrate April 7th and 10th as public holidays, giving them just enough time for a quick Friday-Monday getaway.
Thailand is endlessly popular with tourists from around the world, and it’s easy to see why: the ‘land of smiles’ is blessed with natural beauty ripe for exploration; additionally, the country has introduced the world to a myriad of amazing things, ranging from delicious cuisine to Muay Thai, the popular (and sometimes brutal) national sport. But it’s Thailand’s culture which most captures the imagination – just look at the dazzling Grand Palace in Bangkok.
For a truly immersive cultural experience, send your clients to Thailand in time for Songkran. The event is a celebration of the Buddhist new year and lasts for three days, during which participants ‘cleanse’ away any bad look or grievances from the previous year. Symbolic of renewal and rebirth, practicing Buddhists will take time to clean their homes, attend shrines (to gently pour water on symbols of the deity)…and take to the streets to partake in an enormous water fight. Armed with buckets, water guns and more, those taking part in the Songkran festivities are certain to walk away soaked from head to toe – and your clients are welcome to join in on the fun!
While celebrations are held all over the country, the biggest Songkran parties take place in Bangkok. Round out your client’s trip with a tour of the capital’s major sights.
Golden Week is a term which refers to consecutive holidays in its host country: for example, in China, the occasion may fall in January, February, September or October. However, over in Japan, Golden Week takes place across numerous fixed dates, beginning with Showa Day on April 29th, which marks the birthday of former Emperor Showa. However, due to the close succession of other public holidays (Constitution Memorial Day; Greenery Day; Children’s Day), the whole period – and indeed, the days either side – is considered to be an opportune time for Japanese travelers to be on the move.
While undoubtedly a busy time in Japan (any flights and accommodation should be booked well in advance!), Golden Week also tends to coincide with the cherry blossom season. With the blossoms in bloom and the weather arguably at its most pleasant, this is a delightful time of year for tourists to visit, providing they’re prepared to spend a little extra and to put up with crowds.
The UK isn’t known for its abundance of public holidays, which is why the imminent coronation of King Charles III is likely to be a big day for tourism. Whether British travelers opt stick around for the historic event or choose to get away for a quick break, the new King’s coronation presents a rare and ever-appreciated opportunity for a three-day weekend: the coronation itself takes place on a Saturday, while the following Monday (the 8th) has been designated as a bank holiday.
Of course, it’s not only British tourists who’ll be getting swept up in the royal festivities: anglophiles from anywhere in the world will want to flock to London in time for Charles and his wife Camilla to be crowned as King and Queen Consort respectively. While more details are yet to be announced, there is likely to be a procession through the streets of London where tourists can catch a glimpse of the new monarch.
June is the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and with hotter weather comes the desire to spend as much time outdoors as possible! One way of making the most of warmer climes is to attend a music festival, and with world-renowned events such as Primavera Sound (Barcelona), Glastonbury (Somerset) and Rock am Ring (Nürburgring) attracting fans from around the globe, this is a fantastic opportunity for advisors to present themselves as the go-to for travel arrangements.
While some festivals do allow camping, others (such as Primavera) do not; similarly, attendees travelling from outside of the festival’s host country will likely want to make the most of their time, so consider recommending hotels and upselling activities via our Booking Engine.
Ah, Independence Day. A celebration of the United State’s separation from Great Britain, this federal holiday can only be described as the all-American event: from family reunions to fireworks, parades, political speeches and even sporting events, this is the day where residents of the USA go big. According to a 2022 report by Skift, 55% of American adults surveyed said that they had plans to travel for that Fourth of July weekend – and what’s more, that figure was up 8% from the year previous.
Combined with general intent to travel more, it seems likely that the number of people traveling for Independence Day 2023 will be higher yet again, so be sure to position your services correctly in order to secure the sale! From airline tickets to car rentals, accommodation and more, this is a fantastic opportunity for advisors to lock in bookings from domestic travelers, or even those flying in from elsewhere to sample a taste of the American dream.
Sporting events had a big comeback in 2022, which was great news for tourism. In particular, the World Cup had major economic benefits for its host country (Qatar) and the United Arab Emirates as a whole, which received an increased 42% of hotel guests compared to the year previous – so with the Women’s World Cup fast approaching, could host countries Australia and New Zealand also see an uptick in tourism?
One of the greatest charms of international sporting events is the bringing together of people and cultures: fans want to be in the thick of it all, celebrating wins (or commiserating losses) whilst basking in a sense of community. The World Cup has the distinction of being the most-watched sporting event in the world, and with women’s football rising in popularity, advisors would be wise to position themselves as the go-to for bookings.
Japan Hanabi, or fireworks festival, is an absolute must-see for anyone looking to experience the beauty and excitement of Japanese culture. This spectacular event features a mesmerizing display of colorful fireworks that light up the night sky, accompanied by traditional Japanese music and food. It's an opportunity to witness the beauty of Japanese culture and tradition, and to be part of the lively atmosphere that surrounds the festival. Plus, with many different locations holding hanabi festivals throughout the country over the course of the month, thus is a perfect time for your clients to explore different parts of Japan.
Travel and photography go hand in hand – just take a look at Instagram, where #photooftheday, #photography, #nature and #travel are 4th, 7th, 14th and 16th most-used hashtags respectively. (Other popular hashtags include #summer, #sunset and #beach, while @natgeo is the 14th most followed account in the world.) Tourists love to capture their most treasured moment on camera, be that the first family holiday they take with a newborn or even a once-in-a-lifetime safari excursion.
World Photography Day presents a fantastic opportunity for advisors to gather user generated content: ask your clients to share pictures from the last trip they booked with you, and find out if they’d mind you sharing the images on your business’ website or social media platform; alternatively, consider running a competition, where whoever shares the best photo wins money off their next booking!
Germany’s Oktoberfest is a masterclass in how to have a good time. The world’s largest fair takes place for around two weeks each year and is the ultimate celebration of German culture: there’s delicious food, live music and, of course, plenty of beer to go around. So beloved is this atmospheric event that smaller iterations have cropped up around the globe, but tourists looking for an authentic experience should head to Munich, the true home of Oktoberfest. Visitors can enjoy a variety of carnival rides and games, making it a fun experience for people of all ages. Plus, the atmosphere is filled with joy, laughter and camaraderie – encourage your clients to pack their bags, grab their lederhosen, and join the party!
One of the most beautiful and important celebrations in Chinese culture is the mid-Autumn festival, also known as the Moon Festival. Dating back over 3000 years, the festival is equal in its popularity with the Chinese New Year, making this a significant time for domestic and inbound tourism. This year, the mid-Autumn festival takes place on September 29th, and on the lead-up to the occasion your clients can expect destinations such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau (as well as other countries with Chinese communities) to go all-out on festivities: from the lighting of lanterns to street performances and the sudden presence of giant rabbits (a symbol of Chinese folklore), this is quite the ornamental display.
A hallmark tradition of the mid-Autumn festival is the making and sharing of mooncakes, and your clients won’t be able to stray far without spotting these delectable pastries in a bakery window, as a sweet treat on the menu of high-end restaurants, or sold at souvenir stores in their masses – hopefully they’ll bring you a box home as thanks for booking an incredible trip!
Halloween is the perfect opportunity for travel advisors to showcase their creativity and offer a unique vacation experience for their clients. If you're looking for some seasonal inspiration, then our Booking Engine is packed with perfect activities for Halloween, no matter where your clients want to go. From stays at ‘haunted’ hotels to trips to Universal or Disneyland (both theme parks switch things up in time for the season!), there’s plenty here to tempt tourists to book!
Mexico's Day of the Dead is a vibrant and colorful celebration that offers a unique and authentic cultural experience for tourists. The holiday honors the dead with colorful altars, traditional food and lively parades, creating a feast for the senses. This is a great opportunity for your clients to learn about Mexican culture and traditions, and to immerse in the rich and vibrant atmosphere of the celebration.
While Black Friday isn’t strictly about travel, it’s certainly worth building offers and social media campaigns around.
Like Singles Day in Asia (11th November), Buen Fin in the Americas (17th) and Travel Tuesday (28th), this is one commercial holiday that advisors would be wise to mark in their calendar, since tourists will be on the lookout for good deals.
Unsurprisingly, the lead up to Christmas is a significant time for tourism: this is a time of year when people are looking to spend time with their loved ones and create special memories. Whether traveling home to be with loved ones or to experience different traditions, such as European Christmas markets or larger-than-life parades in destinations such as the United States, it’s highly likely that you’ll have clients who are desperate to get on the move. Where possible, try to encourage your clients to book their December trips well in advance – hotels are likely to be in high demand, and flight prices will increase rapidly.
And so, the cycle begins again…but perhaps your clients are already planning ahead for New Year 2024? After all, this is the year of revenge travel – if your customers are eager to make the most of the next 12 months of travel, consider planting the seed for a big, end-of-year blowout. Cities like London, New York and Sydney are classic recommendations for a memorable New Year’s Eve, but speak to your clients to discover their dream destination – they’ll want to secure their flights, hotels and tickets to any events well in advance!
From the perfect romantic getaway for Valentine's Day, a thrilling solo-adventure to somewhere new, or simply a weekend break to shake things up and celebrate any of these 2023 travel event dates in peace, your clients can find their ideal trip when you book using our Booking Engine!