It was a tumultuous time for sure and businesses that were dependent on tourism had to make radical decisions. Some kept deposits and promised to honour future bookings, some sought alternative income sources hoping to come back when tourism flourished again and some just bit the bullet and went home to lead other lives - simply packed up the dream and went away from the surf, the reefs and the sunsets, leaving the tropics behind.
What does this mean for your 2023 trip? Essentially for many operators, 2022 has been a year that they honoured backlog at pre-2020 prices. This would have hit hard. A couple of operators would surely have got a few new bookings but the bulk of the operators we represent now look to 2023 as a means to stabilise their business again. For you, as a consumer, this translates into an extreme unlikelihood of early booking travel discounts. We’ll ask but we’re not expecting to see the ‘stay 6 pay 5’, ‘group discounts’ and ‘book now to save X%’ type of deals.
Typically this time of year we launch into our ‘Group on’ deals and encourage group leaders to think ahead and save money by planning next year in advance with bigger numbers and financial incentives. Surfers get a discount and a year to warm up partners and plan & purchase. Operators get to plan, fill dates and know that the following year is looking ‘peachy’. 2023 is not looking like that year.
The other reality is that the operators that ran the gauntlet and are still operating in 2022/3 are in demand. A landlocked Australia paired with a global reluctance towards international travel over the last two years has translated to a more equal supply-demand model. So, for you, thinking of booking a trip, this means that your forward-thinking will be rewarded with prime dates, secure travel, fixed price and enough spots for everyone in the group. For 2023 that’s motivation enough.