Global travellers have always been, by nature, a complex and diverse market. Future travellers will only evolve this fact, as technology maintains its accelerated state of development and society becomes more sophisticated and more accepting of alternative lifestyles.
Travel is undertaken for many reasons and is instigated by many sources of inspiration and motivation. The way travel is planned, booked, and experienced can change from individual to individual, but there are still defined groups hotels can focus on to develop strategies and create the personalised service all guests seek in a trip.
Knowing this, Amadeus and Future Foundation put together a looking glass into what the core values of travellers in the future will be.
Forecasting ahead to 2030, they came up with six ‘traveller tribes’ they believe will be prominent for travel companies to market and sell to. So let’s take a look at their predictions…
Tomorrow’s travel experience
In an era where the impact of technology and data has never been larger, it should be easier for travellers to navigate the maze of destination and booking options to make the right travel choices and be more satisfied with their trips. By the same token, there should be more opportunities for travel marketers to apply specific, personal, strategies and make dramatic increases in conversion rates and optimise guest experiences.
In ‘Future Traveller Tribes 2030: Building a more rewarding journey’, the research identified that some travellers will prioritise technology and personalised service, while others could grow to see it as a hindrance to their experience.
The types of services offered to travellers will be impacted by technological advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing and virtual reality. But ultimately, travellers will still have the same human needs as they have always had – it is their purchasing behaviour that will vary.
Here are the six key traveller tribes set to exist in the future:
Future Hotel Guests #1
The Simplicity Searchers
The first group are travellers who want their trip planning and booking to be as easy and seamless as possible. If this means handing over responsibility to third-parties to organise their travel, so be it.
Generally holidays are rare for this tribe and are treated as an opportunity to pamper themselves. This is why they feel no need to invite extra stress by insisting on managing every detail on their own.
They’re happy to try new experiences but only if safety and satisfaction can be assured by the additional benefits of homely comforts that allow rest and rejuvenation. It’s believed this group will be money-rich but time-poor and mostly likely suffering burnout from their daily lives.
This group will be extremely open to bundles and packages; anything that reduces the hassle of involved in booking a trip and offers a one-stop-shop experience.
Future Hotel Guests #2
The Reward Hunters
To this tribe, travel is an opportunity to undergo personal growth and enlightenment. This could mean enrichment in mental health, physical health, spiritual health, or anything else that centres on the ‘self’. They will see their trip as a well-deserved treat that is most likely to involve a retreat of some kind or travel focused specifically on wellness.
Crowds and the most popular tourist spots don’t appeal to this group and they actively avoid mass-market offers. Instead they prefer to look for special or rare experiences.
Technology is also something they won’t want to be a slave to so they’re more likely to use it at the start of their customer journey than any other.
This group will be more than willing to provide data that can be used to personalise hotel offerings.
Future Hotel Guests #3
The Social Capital Seekers
These travellers choose their destination based on the opportunities to capture and share social media-worthy experiences. For them, travel is an activity that should be done to fulfil personal goals and something that is treated as a must-share endeavour, rather than a private getaway.
They are not restricted in their journey and are always open to accepting new services, providing they increase the chance for social capital gain.
Obviously technology is their friend and they’ll embrace it at every opportunity, including advanced features like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).
Creating a sense of scarcity will continue to work in the future. Any product that is limited, rare or expensive will be in demand by this tribe.
Future Hotel Guests #4
The Cultural Purists
Cultural purists want to immerse themselves in the new and unfamiliar to explore different ways of living. Getting off-the-beaten-track is very popular with this group.
They put little emphasis on planning, preferring to take a randomised approach to add a sense of adventure to their trip. Often they gather inspiration and stimulus from lifestyle media such as documentaries, YouTube, and blogs created by their peers.
Cultural Purists don’t want vast amounts of data used to personalise services. In fact, members of this tribe do not want their past preferences to guide their future plans. Flexibility and spontaneity are keywords when thinking about this group.
Sales channels are likely to remain similar to today. This tribe will avoid robotic channels and prefer the human touch.
Future Hotel Guests #5
The Ethical Travellers
Conscience, morals, and core values based around political or environmental issues shape the travel of this tribe. Their ideal is to bring a neutral balance to the world by keeping the impacts of individuals under control.
This group will have concerns about the sustainability of their trip and the places they stay. Of course, some will see certain issues as more serious than others, be it a carbon footprint or political unrest.
Ethical travellers will have a firm grasp on their travel plans and will be extremely focused on knowing where their money will go and how their travel providers might use it.
Use social data and technology that uses this data to make predictions and build profiles. This will allow you to understand the nuances of these travellers and what issues matter most to them.
Future Hotel Guests #6
The Obligation Meeters
This tribe are largely restricted in their travel choices. Whether they are travelling for work, medical needs, charity commitments, or anything else, they have less control over where and when they can book their trip.
Similar to ‘The Simplicity Searchers’, they will look to technology smooth the process of their entire trip. Also described as corporate travellers, they will still need flexibility in order to tailor their travel within defined budgets or other parameters.
‘The Obligation Meeters’ are uniquely balancing between freedom and restraint. Unlike the other tribes, they have a value-system from which it is relatively easy to infer preference; this tribe do not have a core value, rather, they have an objective.
Given how important timing is for this group, removing any anxiety around speed and convenience of booking will be of huge value to them.
Is your hotel equipped to cater for one or more of these traveller groups? Take SiteMinder’s Interactive Quiz to find out what type of hotel and guest will suit your business plan in the future.