Wondering how to put your hotel on the map in 2023? We've compiled a list of key dates and events in the 2023 calendar to help inspire your travel marketing efforts, and to attract a wealth of travelers in the era of 'revenge travel'. Save this page as a bookmark to use as a reference over the next 12 months.
As an additional resource, get an even more in-depth look at some of the most impactful travel trends of 2023 in our free guide and use this alongside our key events for this year to ensure you capitalise on every available opportunity.
KEY DATES FOR YOUR 2023 TRAVEL CALENDAR
1st - New Year's Day, Global
The event has come and gone, but there's still time to take advantage of the 79% of travelers planning at least two leisure trips this year and make the most of their New Year's resolution to 'travel more'. Offer special packages and promotions to cater to the afterglow of celebration that your potential bookers may still be feeling.
22nd - Chinese New Year, Asia
Chinese New Year is a significant holiday celebrated worldwide. This year, the event fell on January 22nd and marked the the Year of the Rabbit. Next year will be the year of the Dragon, so consider incorporating dragon motifs and symbols of Asian festivity, like fortune-telling and fireworks, into your marketing efforts (or even your hotel's decor) to attract guests of Chinese heritage and those interested in the culture. If your hotel has a restaurant, you could also offer special menu items like spring rolls and noodles to add to the festive experience.
12th - Super Bowl, United States
The highly-anticipated Super Bowl came around again on February 12th in Arizona. With the NFL season in full swing and superstar Rihanna having performed during the halftime show this year, this event always attracts a large crowd. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans may call in sick the next day due to 'football fever.'
The event is said to bring in an estimated $300-$400 million for the host city and, as a hotel owner, you can capitalize on this event by offering packages for friends and family to enjoy the ultimate Super Bowl experience.
14th - Valentine's Day, Global
Valentine's Day is a prime opportunity for hotel bookings. Encourage your guests to make their stay even more special by offering additional experiences such as dancing or cooking classes. Other ways to appeal to the amorously inclined include room upgrades with amenities like flowers and a complimentary bottle of wine, in-room dining or candle-lit dinners, or couple's experiences like spa treatments and massages.
17th - Rio Carnival/Carnival, Americas and LATAM
The Rio Carnival, held annually in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a major attraction that draws millions of guests and participants, including hundreds of thousands of international visitors. This spectacular festival features colorful parades, intricate costumes, upbeat music, and energetic dancing, offering a unique cultural experience for locals and guests alike to fully immerse in Brazilian culture. To maximize the experience, consider offering packages for guests to arrive in Rio de Janeiro before the festivities begin to explore the city's beauty.
Alternative Carnival celebrations are held globally in destinations such as those in New Orleans, the Dominican Republic, and other areas with Latin communities. Hoteliers can offer a customized experience by arranging local tours, offering traditional Brazilian cuisine and drinks, and promoting the vibrant atmosphere of the carnival to entice guests to book.
8th - Holi, Asia
The Hindu festival of Holi is a vibrant celebration of color and cultural traditions held in India and Nepal around the beginning of March. As the festival marks the beginning of spring, it's an opportunity for Hindu communities to come together and forget any grudges, celebrating with food, music and lively activities.
For hotel owners, offering packages that include cultural tours, traditional food experiences and proximity to Holi celebrations can be a great way to attract guests and offer them an authentic cultural experience.
17th - St Patrick's Day, Ireland
St Patrick's Day is a public holiday in Ireland, with thousands of visitors flocking to cities like Dublin to take part in festivals, parades and cultural tours. Celebrations of St. Patrick's Day also occur in the United States, with many planning gatherings, parades and special events.
For hotel owners, offering packages that include proximity to St. Patrick's Day events, traditional Irish food experiences, and tours of historic Irish landmarks can attract guests and showcase the famous Irish hospitality.
22nd - Ramadan, Global
Ramadan is a month-long religious observance for Muslims, where they abstain from food and drink during daylight hours. The end of Ramadan is marked by the three-day festivities of Eid-ul-Fitr and is a time where many Muslims travel to be with their families.
For hotel owners, offering special packages and promotions well in advance of Eid-ul-Fitr can attract guests at a time where bookings are likely to be in hot demand. Marketing these offers effectively, highlighting the convenience and proximity to family-friendly activities, can make your hotel a popular choice for travelers during this time.
8th - Hana Matsuri, Japan
The re-opening of Japan in 2022 has sparked interest in travel to the country, with many tourists adding it to their 'revenge travel' list. Hana Matsuri, also known as cherry blossom season, is a particularly popular time to visit, with cities like Kyoto, Himeji, and Tokyo being top choices for viewing the blooms. However, other destinations like Kawaguchiko and Kushiro offer off-the-beaten-path experiences that are just as beautiful and budget-friendly. To help guests plan their trips, hotel owners can keep an eye on the Japanese Weather Association for sakura bloom forecasts, as the season runs from March to May.
Hoteliers can attract tourists to their property by highlighting the beauty of Hana Matsuri and the best spots for viewing cherry blossoms. Offer seasonal packages that include tours or experiences related to the event, provide guests with information about local festivities and events related to Hana Matsuri, and consider partnering with local travel companies to offer discount packages for travelers visiting during cherry blossom season. If your hotel has an on-site restaurant, consider switching up its menu to take advantage of the season: cherry-blossom flavored or themed dishes/drinks are sure to go down a treat!
9th - Easter, Global
Easter is not typically a reason for travel, but it provides a window of opportunity for hotel owners to engage in seasonal marketing. To encourage bookings, consider offering secret discounts or unique promo codes, or hosting special events related to Easter. For clients based in the UK, it's important to note that Easter is celebrated over a four-day weekend this year (April 7th-10th), making it an ideal time for a quick getaway.
13th - Songkran, Thailand
Thailand's natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and rich culture make it a popular destination for tourists from around the world. Songkran, a celebration of the Buddhist new year, offers a truly immersive cultural experience for guests. The three-day event involves cleansing rituals and an enormous water fight that is sure to be a memorable experience. The biggest celebrations take place in Bangkok, and hotel owners can suggest a tour of the capital's major sights to round out the trip.
3rd, 4th, and 5th - Golden Week, Japan
Golden Week is a term that refers to a series of consecutive holidays in Japan, which takes place from April 29th (Showa Day) to Children's Day (May 5th). During this time, many Japanese citizens travel, making it a busy period for tourism in the country.
Hotel owners can capitalize on Golden Week by offering early bird specials for those booking in advance, highlighting the beauty of cherry blossom season (which may still be ongoing, depending on the region) and offering packages that include tours and experiences during the celebrations.
6th - Coronation of King Charles III, UK
The coronation of King Charles III is a rare and historic event that is likely to bring a surge in tourism in the UK. British citizens and anglophiles from around the world will want to witness the event, which takes place on a Saturday, followed by a bank holiday on the 8th. Hotels that are on the procession route will likely do well for bookings (be sure to market your property as a vantage point!) while others should lean fully into British culture: consider serving cream teas to your guests, or decorating with bunting in light of the occassion. Discounts for three-day stays will appeal to price-conscious guests; meanwhile, offering packages that include tours of historic and cultural sights in London can also help attract more guests.
All month – Music Festivals, Europe
June marks the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and is a great time for music lovers to attend outdoor festivals. Europe boasts renowned festivals such as Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Glastonbury in Somerset, and Rock am Ring in Nürburgring, attracting music fans from around the world. As a hotel owner, this presents a unique opportunity to target these travelers and offer them comfortable accommodation during their festival visit.
As well as positioning your property as an ideal place to stay, outlining activities near the festival or offering packages with festival tickets and transportation will help to enhance your guests' experience.
4th – Independence Day, United States
Independence Day is the quintessential American holiday celebrated with family reunions, fireworks, parades, political speeches, and sporting events. According to a Skift report, 55% of American adults had plans to travel for the Fourth of July weekend in 2022, and the number is expected to rise in 2023.
As a hotel owner, this is a prime opportunity to attract domestic and international travelers looking to experience the American dream. Offer packages with transportation and tickets to popular Independence Day events and promote your hotel's proximity to these events. Where possible, upsell additional services like car rentals, airport transfers, and activities to make the trip more convenient for guests.
20th – Women’s World Cup, Australia and New Zealand
The Women's World Cup is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world and is expected to bring a boost to the tourism industry in Australia and New Zealand. The recent World Cup had major economic benefits for its host country, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, which saw a 42% increase in hotel guests in 2022 - so what's to say the Women's World Cup won't be a similar success?
As a hotel owner in Australia or New Zealand, you should promote your hotel as the go-to destination for World Cup fans. Offer packages with tournament tickets, transportation, and activities to create a complete World Cup experience for guests or, if you have the facilities on-site, consider airing the match live for guests to enjoy in the comfort of the hotel. Sports events bring people and cultures together, so be sure to highlight the sense of community and festivities surrounding the tournament to attract guests.
Throughout the month - Hanabi (Fireworks Festivals), Japan
Attendance at Hanabi fireworks festivals across Japan is a must for those looking to immerse themselves in Japanese culture. The dazzling display of colorful fireworks and traditional Japanese music and food creates a lively and captivating atmosphere. This is a great time for guests to visit various parts of Japan and take in the beauty of its culture and tradition, and hotel owners can appeal to guests by offering unique experiences and amenities related to the event. If your hotel is in a location close by to the festivities and has rooms with a balcony, consider selling these rooms as the perfect vantage point for firework viewing.
19th - World Photography Day, Global
Travel and photography are intertwined, as evidenced by the popularity of photography-related hashtags on social media. Tourists love to capture their special moments, from their first family vacation with a newborn to a once-in-a-lifetime safari.
For hotel owners, World Photography Day presents an opportunity to gather user-generated content. Encourage guests to share pictures from their stays with you and consider featuring them on your website or social media. You could also run a photography competition, where the winner receives a discount on their next booking. This will not only showcase your hotel but also help to build a positive reputation and encourage repeat bookings.
21st - Oktoberfest, Munich
Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany is a world-famous celebration of German culture that features delicious food, live music, and plenty of beer. Visitors can enjoy carnival rides, games, and immerse themselves in the joyous and festive atmosphere of the event. To encourage bookings from guests, hotel owners in Munich can offer package deals that include Oktoberfest tickets, traditional German food and drinks, and cultural activities for guests to fully experience the festivities.
29th - Mid-Autumn Festival, Asia
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is an important celebration in Chinese culture. This year, the event takes place on September 29th. With a history of over 3000 years, this festival is a significant time for both domestic and international tourism in destinations such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. Hotel owners in these areas can enhance their guests' experience by offering cultural activities, such as lantern making and street performance tours, as well as offering traditional mooncake treats and souvenirs. Additionally, hosting festive events in the hotel, such as mooncake tasting or a lantern-lighting ceremony, can also appeal to guests and encourage bookings.
31st - Halloween, Global
Halloween is a perfect occasion for hotel owners to entice travelers and offer a one-of-a-kind vacation experience. Encourage your guests to celebrate Halloween in a unique way by transforming your property into a 'haunted' hotel or partnering with tour operators to secure tickets to a theme park, such as Universal or Disneyland (both of which transform for the season).
1st - Day of the Dead, Mexico
The Day of the Dead in Mexico is a colorful celebration that offers tourists a chance to experience Mexican culture and traditions. The holiday, which honors the dead with altars, traditional food, and lively parades, creates a rich and vibrant atmosphere that your guests can immerse themselves in. Providing local information for your guests to get involved with Day of the Dead festivities will go a long way to making their stay a memorable one, and will also help to support the community.
24th - Black Friday, Global
Black Friday provides an opportunity for hotel owners to attract travelers by offering deals and promotions. Take advantage of this commercial holiday, along with Singles Day, Buen Fin, and Travel Tuesday, to create attractive offers and campaigns on social media.
25th – Christmas Day, Global
The holiday season is a busy time for tourism, with people looking to spend time with loved ones and create special memories. This is, predictably, an expensive time for travel (least of all for flights!), so to ensure that you remain appealing to your potential guests, be sure to market festive stays ahead of time. Decorating your hotel's lobby in line with the season will ensure a memorable and cozy stay for your guests; take things to the next level by offering a traditional Christmas dinner or seasonal treats in your on-site restaurant (if you have one).
31st - New Year's Eve, Global
And so the cycle begins again! New Year's Eve is a popular time for travel, as people look to start the year off with a bang. Treat your guests to an experience they'll never forget by providing entertainment, activities and dining options; decorate your property with sparkly, festive decorations to create a celebratory atmosphere; suggest places for guests to celebrate the countdown or, alternatively, offer a complimentary bottle of champagne (or similar) so that your guests can ring in the New Year in the comfort of your hotel!
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