Family holiday destinations in 2023 – what are they?

Our data for forward bookings shows South Africa as the frontrunner, followed closely by the UAE and USA. South Africa has always been one of our strongest destinations, consistently in the top three destinations booked by our Independent Consultants and this goes to show the appeal for families seeking out closer-to-home holidays that are budget-friendly with a wealth of activities and entertainment available.

It is also encouraging to see that the increase of airline prices within the domestic market over the past 12 months have not impacted on domestic growth and that customers still value the expertise of a consultant when booking their packaged holiday.

Mauritius, which remains a firm favourite for family travel, secures seventh spot however, 45% of the total passengers booked comprise of children, demonstrating the undeniable appeal of this Indian Ocean Island for family-orientated travel. South Africa closely trails Mauritius, with 44% of travellers booked being children on an average booking size of four travellers.  

Greece continues to trend and has surged in popularity especially during the European summer. While Greece has historically been favoured by couples and honeymooners, its recent popularity has extended to family-friendly holidays on both land and sea. Forward booking data for land holidays shows that 33% of the total bookings for Greece are for children. We are also extremely encouraged to see positive growth for cruise holidays including the Mediterranean and Greek Isles.    

Shifting focus to accommodations, data shows that Sun City Cabanas remains a top choice among domestic travellers, closely followed by Lapita Dubai Parks and Resorts Autograph Collection in the UAE. This underlines the rising demand for family-centric hotels and resorts, designed to create memorable experiences for younger guests and adults alike.

These accommodations cater to varied interests, curated experiences, immersive activities such as waterparks and diverse dining options. This is reflective of global accommodations and travel products embracing family-centric holidays and elevating their offering to grow and attract family travel, especially with growing trends such as multi-gen travel.    

Looking at our data for Asia, Thailand and Indonesia remain popular and this reaffirms the timeless allure of affordable beach escapes, which are visa-free and accessible by great airline connections from South Africa. An interesting statistic when looking at our data is the rise in popularity of Singapore, which is slowly shedding its reputation as merely a stopover destination, but attracting visitors to stay longer and explore all that the destination has to offer.

Forward booking data for Singapore shows 43% children booked compared to 57% adults, showing the appeal for families looking to explore attractions such as The Children’s Museum, 250-acre Gardens by the Bay, bustling markets and some of the best cuisine in the world. Changi Airport, voted the world’s best airport, is an immersive family-friendly experience in its own right.

It is evident that customers continue to seek value-for-money holidays that deliver on experiences and activities for the entire family. Our air data also reflects that customers are travelling for longer periods, on average between 10 and 14 days. If we look at London in particular, the average length of stay is three weeks.