A major new report into how the travel world will look in 2030 has categorised travellers into six different 'tribes', from social capital seekers to cultural purists.
The Future Traveller Tribes 2030 report, written by The Future Foundation and commissioned by Amadeus, found consumers fell into different personality types based on their travel needs and wants rather than their demographic.
The six traveller tribes identified by the report are: social capital seekers; cultural purists; ethical travellers; simplicity searchers; obligation meeters; and reward hunters.
Social capital seekers base their holiday decisions almost exclusively with their online 'audience' in mind - they are driven to travel to places that can increase their social media standing. They will, for example, tweet about their experiences on holiday, and rely on peer reviews to validate their choices.
Future Foundation key account director Nick Chiarelli said: "We believe this tribe will become strong and fundamentally effect the way these people make their travel decision, the way they book and what kind of activity they take part in."
The second tribe are cultural purists, obsessed with having an authentic experience on holiday and "getting under the skin" of a destination. They will also be attracted by "last chance tourism" - to places which are vulnerable to climate change, for example.
Amadeus senior vice president airline IT Julia Sattel said this group could prove harder for the travel trade to tap into. "This tribe is a challenge but there is also a great opportunity because they are ready to spend money if someone can offer them a personal experience," she added.
A third tribe is Simplicity Searchers who want seamless travel with 'bundled' offers and a straightforward booking process so that everything is organised and provided for by the travel agent or tour operator and they can focus on the holiday in the knowledge the trip has been sorted out for them.
Chiarelli said these travellers were happy to reveal details about their travel history and preferences and use a travel agent to book their trip. "Travel agents have done a lot of this but it does take a lot of effort and we're expecting technology solutions in terms of how people can book to become more user-friendly and we also expect a turn back to people like agents who can do this for people as time poverty becomes an issue for them," he said.
Obligation meeters will be those whose travel is focused around an event such as a birthday, wedding or conference. The report predicts more business travellers demanding leisure travel as part of the same trip, by tagging holiday on to their work travel for example. "This is an opportunity for travel providers to extend the sales of their leisure breaks and upsell," said Sattel.
The report also predicts there will be reward hunters, who are only interested in indulgent travel or 'must have' premium experiences as a return on their hard earned investment in their own working lives. Chiarelli said: "In many ways this is one of the biggest opportunities for travel providers. This could include luxury and wellness holidays."
Sattel urged the travel industry to use the report to better serve the needs of their customers in the future by basing products and services on these types of travellers rather than splitting up travel product on a demographic basis.
"At the heart of our commitment to delivering tools to the broader industry is understanding the traveller and helping the industry to really merchandise more cleverly. It's important the industry moves beyond the simple demographics and goes more into travel behaviour. The winners in 2030 will be those who can package holidays based on what drives customers' behaviour," she said.
You can view the report here.
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