The science of planning for future needs of travellers
As the increase in travel continues to accelerate, understanding our fast-changing world becomes imperative for those working in travel and tourism. With emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, a growing desire to live more sustainably, and ever-shifting personal priorities, there are a multitude of factors that will ultimately impact how people want to travel and what they expect from travel sellers and providers.
The Traveller Tribes 2033 research is the latest global study commissioned by travel technology leader Amadeus. It endeavours to take a glimpse into the future and see how people will want to travel in ten years’ time.
The research identifies the future forces of change transforming travel, alongside emerging traveller traits, behaviours, and preferences, in order to understand exactly what travelers might want a decade from now.
Northstar Research Partners, commissioned to lead the study, surveyed 10,345 travelers in 15 key markets - including the UAE, UK, USA, India, and China - asking a total of 248,323 questions to compile nearly six million data points in all.
This information formed the backbone of the research and was combined with input from 22 experts in various fields to create a robust foundation for the findings. The research techniques and proven methodology were devised by the Institute for the Future, expert practitioners in the science of forecasting future trends.
These techniques included asking travelers about what they expect their age, income and family status will be in 2033, together with written exercises to open their mind about what life could be like in a decade from now and priming them with a written description of what will impact travel in 2033.
Asking travelers how they think other people will behave in 2033, rather than how they will behave, was also important. Research from the Centre for Decision Research at the University of Chicago has shown this to be a more accurate way of understanding peoples’ behaviour.
All of this was aimed to get people in a future-facing mindset to think about travel in 10 years’ time. The results show that although travel continues to change, the way we understand the traveller is not keeping pace. It was therefore important to create a new way of segmenting travellers.
The research helps to take a longer-term view of how travelers may behave in the coming decade. While attitudes are transient over time, the behavioural attitudes which impact the way travelers think and take decisions can be longer-lasting, allowing for a more accurate understanding of the future.
Traveler Tribes 2033 identifies four Traveler Tribes that are emerging today and are set to shape traveller demands into the future. For instance, the ‘Travel Tech-fluencers’ have high expectations that travel should leverage technology for smoother and better-connected experiences, such as the use of biometrics to speed up boarding at airports. Not surprisingly, this traveller tribe includes business travelers.
‘Memory Makers’ on the other hand value travel for the memories they make and the places they visit above all else. They like to curate memorable vacation experiences and are open to using technology to help relive those experiences. The ‘Excited Experientialists’ have a “try it and see” approach to life, with mid- to high-income earners, few commitments and are well positioned to explore the world.
The last group in the Tribe, ‘Pioneering Pathfinders’, like to combine people and technology to plan travel for them. They are on above-average income, which lets them live a progressive, fast-paced life, always looking for their next big adventure. They also demonstrate a desire to travel more sustainably.
Going beyond simple, traditional classifications of age, gender, location and socioeconomic position, Traveler Tribes 2033, was able to identify individuals based on their psychological traits, their willingness to travel, explore and seek adventure and how such things will be impacted by new technologies as they emerge.
Equipped with this information, Amadeus is now well positioned to work with its partners to respond to the changing needs of travelers in the coming decade and create solutions that offer a better travel experience.
About the author
Jamel Chandoul is Senior Vice President at META & EMEA Partner Markets, Travel Sellers.