Tourist sail off Amalfi on the Amalfi coast in southern...

Tourist sail off Amalfi on the Amalfi coast in southern Italy. Credit: AFP via Getty Images/FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

As we head into 2023, all signs show the collective appetite for travel remains huge despite concerns over inflation and recession. Industry experts are forecasting certain 2022 trends will carry over in the new year, such as people taking longer trips, going on more of them and spending more to take them.

So where are people going in 2023? We asked dozens of travel advisers, tour operators and booking platforms to find out.

1. Italy

The absolute, undisputed most popular destination for 2023 is Italy. And if you thought everyone went in 2022, buckle up.

Travelers want to meet interesting locals such as chefs or fishermen. They want see beautiful places by going foraging in the mountains near Lake Como, for example, or hitting the beach. And they want to have exciting sports experiences, maybe by catching a soccer game or touring a team's training facilities.

Shayna Mizrahi, founder and CEO of Vive Voyage, says her clients are also highly interested in connecting with Italian culture through cooking classes, boat excursions and artisan workshops.

For private tour operator Access Italy, the Amalfi Coast, Lake Como, Tuscany, Puglia and Sicily are clients' most requested destinations.

2. Japan

A woman bicycles through a shopping street in Osaka.

A woman bicycles through a shopping street in Osaka. Credit: AFP via Getty Images/YUICHI YAMAZAKI

As the last region in the world to reopen during the pandemic, East Asia is expected to have a banner year for tourism, with Japan poised to be the fan favorite.

While people want to go to the "Golden Triangle" - Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka - Mike Salvadore, a travel agent with Travel Leaders, recommends adding a stop to see Japan beyond its best-known cities, such as mountainous Sapporo in the north or beachy Okinawa in the south.

3. Southeast Asia

Visitors walk on the Bach Long glass bridge in Moc...

Visitors walk on the Bach Long glass bridge in Moc Chau district in Vietnam's Son La province. Credit: AFP via Getty Images/NHAC NGUYEN

Behind Japan, Southeast Asia is also high on travelers' wish lists with Thailand, Bali and Vietnam at the top.

The travel subscription service VIP Traveler has seen a 200% increase in interest in Bali, perhaps following the country's newly launched digital nomad Visa.

It could also be that Bali appeals to the growing number of travelers interested in trips focused on wellness. Salvadore says most of his clients want to go to Ubud, Bali's lush jungle town in the center of the island.

4. The Caribbean

Cruise ships in port at St George's in Grenada. 

Cruise ships in port at St George's in Grenada.  Credit: Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images/Loop Images

A perennial sunshine-filled favorite that tends to be easy for Americans to reach, the Caribbean will remain sought-after in 2023.

"A lot of people will go to the typical places like the Dominican Republic or Jamaica or the Bahamas," Salvadore said, but eastern Caribbean countries are some of his favorites, like Barbados, Saint Lucia, and Anguilla and Antigua, Grenada."

5. Egypt

Tourists visit the Giza Pyramids scenic spot in Giza, Egypt.

Tourists visit the Giza Pyramids scenic spot in Giza, Egypt. Credit: Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images/Xinhua News Agency

Jonathan Alder, owner of the luxury travel company Jonathan's Travels, has booked more Egypt trips for clients in the last two years than he has over the entire decade, and requests are picking up speed in 2023.

Some of the renewed interest may be attributed to the anticipated opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, says Jasmine Padda, Egypt destination expert for Kensington Tours. She also pointed to the increase in major cruise lines adding sailings in the region.

6. The American West

Tourists walk on Rodeo Drive of Beverly Hills in Los...

Tourists walk on Rodeo Drive of Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. Credit: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/Anadolu Agency

Jen Moyse, VP of product for the travel app TripIt, says that while international travel is having a moment, Americans will continue a return to iconic cities at home that are still rebounding from the pandemic.

Of the top five most-booked domestic destinations on the travel booking platform Hopper, four are out west: Las Vegas, Denver, Los Angeles and Phoenix.

7. Mexico

Tourists stroll on the shore of Xcalacoco beach in Playa...

Tourists stroll on the shore of Xcalacoco beach in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo state, Mexico. Credit: AP/Emilio Espejel

Mexico has been breaking tourism records throughout the pandemic and will return as a powerhouse destination in 2023. It's most popular and easy-to-get-to beach destinations are major contributors to that success.

Cancún, on Mexico's Caribbean coast, is the most-booked international destination next year for Hopper, SkyScanner and the airfare search engine Skiplagged.

8. Costa Rica

Horseback tour on the grounds of the Arenal Volcano Observatory...

Horseback tour on the grounds of the Arenal Volcano Observatory near La Fortuna, Costa Rica.  Credit: Universal Images Group via Getty Images/UniversalImagesGroup

Another carryover from 2022, Costa Rica is attracting travelers - from families to honeymooners to retirees - with its abundance of affordable flights, outdoor adventures, wildlife and coastline.

For Zicasso customers, the most sought-after places to visit are Arenal, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, Tortuguero and the Osa Peninsula - which line up with our expert recommendations as well.

9. The Galápagos Islands

Tourists photographing a Nazca booby chick on Genovesa Island in the...

Tourists photographing a Nazca booby chick on Genovesa Island in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Credit: LightRocket via Getty Images/Wolfgang Kaehler

Another dream trip becoming reality for travelers in 2023 is the Galápagos Islands. The biggest seller for Astonishing Travel owner Heidi Bocianowski, the Pacific Ocean archipelago appeals to people who want to see something new every day, from black lava rock and red sand to rare wildlife.

 

10. African safaris

Elephants walk near a tourist at the Kruger National Park,...

Elephants walk near a tourist at the Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Credit: Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images/Xinhua News Agency

Keeping with the once-in-a-lifetime theme, Brian Pentek, owner of Luxe Life Travel, says "Africa is huge," for his clients.

Most are going in multigenerational groups who use the trip as graduation presents or family reunions. They may be going to Cape Town, South Africa, as well as Botswana (for game reserves) or Rwanda for gorilla trekking.

In addition to safaris, Salvadore incorporates ways to experience local culture, or check out the food and drink scenes, for his clients in Africa, or bush camping instead of staying in luxury lodges.

11. Morocco

Tourists ride camels on a beach in Essaouira, western Morocco.

Tourists ride camels on a beach in Essaouira, western Morocco. Credit: Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images/Xinhua News Agency

Even before the north African country drew international attention in the World Cup, Morocco was emerging as a major travel hot spot. Currently the most booked country for Intrepid Travel, "we expect Morocco to continue to be incredibly popular in 2023, given the increase in flights into the destination and the ability to get out and have great experiences in one week, 10 day or two-week itineraries," said the company's CEO James Thornton.

12. Small cruises

View of the Hurtigruten hybrid expedition cruise ship, MS Roald...

View of the Hurtigruten hybrid expedition cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen, at Orne Harbur in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Credit: AFP via Getty Images/JOHAN ORDONEZ

Cruises are making a strong comeback, even for travelers who might not consider themselves cruise people. But instead of taking megaships, they're looking for smaller options operating expedition trips (think Antarctica and Alaska) or luxury voyages, mainly river cruising in Europe and Egypt.

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