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You work in travel every day, but have you ever stopped to think WHY people travel? Understanding that question will empower you to anticipate travel trends and make it work for your business.

That’s why Amadeus commissioned The Future Foundation to write the Future Traveller Tribes 2030 report. The report found that over the next fifteen years you can expect six types of travellers, or Traveller Tribes, to emerge, based on the things they look for in a travel experience.

Amadeus wants 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 products based on a demographic approach. It is evident that travellers from the same country increasingly have different lives and tastes in travel; it no longer makes sense to try and understand them purely based on where they are from.

The Traveller Tribes are Social Capital Seekers, Cultural Purists, Ethical Travellers, Simplicity Searchers, Obligation Meeters and Reward Hunters.

  • Simplicity Searchers will prefer bundled offers in an attempt to avoid managing too many trip details themselves. Their trips are rare opportunities to pamper themselves and they want to take no risks when it comes to their safety and enjoyment. Nick Chiarelli, Director of Future Foundation, explains that these travellers are happy to reveal details about their travel history and preferences and use a travel agent to book their trip. Travel agents can expect potential customers to “turn back to people like agents who can do (booking and planning) for people as time poverty becomes an issue for them.”
  • Social Capital seekers will structure their holidays almost exclusively with online audiences in mind, relying heavily on peer reviews and recommendations to validate their decisions. This tribe will, for example, tweet about their holiday experiences, and rely on their friends and followers to validate their choices. Chiarelli said: “We believe this tribe will become strong, and (social media) will fundamentally effect the way these people make their travel decision, the way they book and what kind of activity they take part in.”
  • Cultural Purists will look at holiday trips as a chance to completely immerse themselves in a foreign culture, even if it makes them feel uncomfortable. How much they enjoy their break depends on the authenticity of the experience. Sattel explains 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.
  • Ethical Travellers will make plans to travel based on moral grounds, for example decreasing their carbon footprint or improving the lives of others. They will often improvise or add some element of volunteering, community development or eco-sustainable activity to their holidays. Africa has the potential to become a destination where travellers can feel that they are making a difference.
  • Obligation Meeters will be driven by a specific purpose for travel, whether business or leisure, and thus have constraints on time and budget. They will be attracted to smart algorithm-based technology that can simplify the hassle of travel. The report predicts more business travellers demanding leisure travel as part of the same trip. “This is an opportunity for travel providers to extend the sales of their leisure breaks and upsell,” said Sattel. With the fast-growing business traveller market in Africa, this future tribe can easily be lost to agents if they do no adapt to their simplified requirements, and offer services that are as easy to us, such as Google Search.
  • Reward Hunters are only interested in indulgent travel, looking to reward themselves with a must-have, premium experience after investing time and energy in building highly successful careers. Chiarelli said: “In many ways this is one of the biggest opportunities for travel providers. This could include luxury and wellness holidays,” even though it might be the very wealthy who will drive this trend.

So whether, as the Future Traveller 2030 report identifies, travellers’ behaviour is influenced most by social media, ethical concerns, a desire for wellbeing, or reward and indulgence, let us all engage in debate, discourse and discussion as we consider how travellers will continue to drive transformation across our sector in the coming years.

Join us in the coming months as we look at each Traveller Tribe indepth and from an African perspective.