Future travel experiences tomorrow may not look like what they are today. What motivates travel today may not be the thing that gets us going ten years from now. In fact, future travelers and future travel experiences may be so radically different that number crunchers of today are in a frenzy to pull in data from surveys and data centers to create a blueprint for what kinds of experiences travelers will be craving during the decades to come.
So far, what we do know about future travel experiences is that by 2030 more than 1.8 billion of us will travel internationally every year. By the end of the next decade, some people will purchase and consume travel experiences almost entirely on the basis of how shareable they are, or how much “social capital” they generate digitally. Another group of travelers will demand total simplicity and freedom from having to arrange their own travel by 2030, wanting as much as possible to be done remotely, by third parties. At the same time, a dedicated group will emerge with a desire for only the most hedonistic, indulgent and must-have experiences.
Future Travel Experiences According to Tribe
These are just some of the forecasts made in Future Traveler Tribes 2030: understanding tomorrow’s traveler, a new report published through Amadeus and the Future Foundation that identified the different traveler personalities and segments the travel industry can expect to emerge and become prominent over the next fifteen years.
The research process, which took a psychographic rather than demographic approach in viewing the future traveler and the future travel experiences he or she will seek, drew on proprietary consumer research forecasts to identify the six distinct traveler personalities:
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. A whole new market may open up based on “Klout-boosting breaks” and feed-friendly moments.
Cultural Purists will look at holiday-making as a chance to immerse in alien — even uncomfortably so — culture, where enjoyment of the break depends on the authenticity of the experience.
Ethical Travelers will make travel plans based on moral grounds, such as 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.
Simplicity Searchers will prefer bundled offers, seeking to avoid managing too many trip details themselves. Holidays for this tribe represent a rare time in life to pamper oneself with the assurance of their safety and enjoyment.
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 seek smart algorithm-based technology that can remove hassles from travel.
Reward Hunters are only interested in indulgent travel. Many have come to crave something that represents an extraordinary reward or “must have” premium experience, a return on their hard earned investment of time and energy in their working lives.
“Looking back 15 years it is hard to underestimate how far the travel industry has come in terms of innovation, cost and choice for travelers,” says Julia Sattel, Senior Vice President Airline IT, Amadeus. “And yet now, as we look forward 15 years to 2030 it is clear that change will only accelerate. With this in mind, understanding the emerging ‘traveler tribes’ will be vital to all providers, buyers and sellers of travel in the coming years, in order to ensure the right investment decisions are made now, and to help facilitate and cater to the clear trend and demand in the industry for far greater personalization than ever before across the entire travel chain.”
In the U.S., Amadeus, a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel industry (such as airlines, hotels, rail, ferry operators, and car rental companies, as well as travel sellers and corporate travel management companies) polled 800 consumers who traveled at least twice in the past year. They sought to learn more about what drives them to travel and how they most closely identify with the traveler tribes. The poll found that the majority (67%) of U.S. travelers aligned most closely with Simplicity Searchers, seeking ease and transparency in their travel planning.
Additional highlights from the future travel experiences survey include:
- 45.4% of respondents agreed the best part of their most recent trip was the chance to unwind from feeling overworked versus engaging in pursuits of adventure, culture or enrichment.
- 42.7% of the respondents said their in-flight guilty pleasure was to flip the “off switch”.
- When asked about the future of travel, 38% are most excited about mapping technology to facilitate a hassle-free trip.
- 25.1% of those surveyed claimed that events often drive their destination selection.