Six distinct traveller personalities will arise by 2030; how the the travel industry meet this demand?

A report issued from the Future Traveler Tribes 2030, titled "Understanding Tomorrows Traveller report" suggests that there will be 6 clearly distinct traveller personalities by 2030, which in essence are:
  1. Cultural Purists
  2. Ethical Travelers
  3. Obligation Meeters
  4. Reward Hunters 
  5. Simplicity Searchers
  6. Social Capital Seekers
The findings of this report has taken a "psycho-graphic", rather than a "demographic" approach.
According to Albert Valladolid Amadeus Asia-Pacific head of Southeast Asia, the rationale for this was "An increasingly complex and individualistic society". The travel technology company commissioned the report, which was written by global consumer trends con­sultancy named "The Future Foundation".

No less than 6 traveler tribes were defined within the report based on what was framed as; dusters of the values, needs and behaviors, all of which were claimed to be present today, demonstrating how the travel industry needs to engage with these personalities, at least over the next 15 years and perhaps further into the future.

Here is an overview showing the general concept of each:

1. Cultural Purists 
Desires to immerse themselves in exotic and colourful cultures.

2. Ethical Travelers 
Executes travel plans and decisions based on moral grounds.

3. Obligation Meeters
Driven by a specific purpose of either business or pleasure.

4. Reward Hunters 
Only interested in indulgent travel with perceived premium experiences. 

5. Simplicity Searchers 
Either through time pressure or the stress of too many choices, seeks to avoid managing too many trip details personally with an obvious desire to avoid complexity.

6. Social Capital Seekers
Tends to structure their holidays with online audiences in mind; heavily reliant on established peer reviews to validate their decisions.

The interesting factor here, is that the "tribes" are generally interlinked and overlapping, as travellers have a propensity to identify with more than one group, over a period of time, depending on the situation and context. On balance it is understood that relatively few consum­ers today, or leading up to 2030 will identify with all of the characteristics attributed to any one tribe exclusively or entirely.

However, the rise of these personality char­acteristics is best described as a gradual progression of pre-ex­isting traits found in society today, which is present amongst those that travel.

The findings of this innovative report are widely expected to benefit the travel, leisure and hospitality industry, especially so in the medium to long run, in particular for the destinations, companies and operators prepared to cater for each personality desire. As such, the report portrays a fascinating insight into both traveller personalities and their associated charac­teristics, as well as the importance for the industry to react/respond to these travel patterns.

Here are some classic examples of how tourism companies can capitalize on this knowledge:

1. Examples of Cultural Purists
  • By their nature Cultural Purists are somewhat hostile to pre-planning
  • They preferring instead real life local experiences at their des­tination of choice
  • Expected to be more open to the sharing economy, like stay with a local (the Airbnb concept)
  • Travel that involves people "eat, drink & sleep" like a local concept.

2. Examples of Ethical Travelers 
  • Eco, sustainable, socially responsible and environmentaly sound travel is what matters here
  • Travel companies and destinations alike will capture the interest of this traveller category if they are able to associate their product or service with the above factors
  • Eco travel in Costa Rica would be a good example; here the destination itself combined with savvy tour operators and travel companies make it happen
  • There are many other avenues to explore and there is an opportunity for many niche players
3. Examples of Obligation Meeters
  • Here events, conferences, sports games, meetings, reunions and travel with a purpose comes into play
  • How travel companies feed off the above will be key to gaining engagement
  • Volunteerism or performing a function to support a cause is another example
  • This catagory needs to have a reason linked with the travel, which can often be designed or articulated by travel companies or destinations
4. Examples of Reward Hunters 
  • The growing rise of Luxury travel reflects the needs of this personaity profile
  • Silversea Cruises, Crustal Cruises and Seabourn are classic examples in the Cruise Industry 
  • The rise of SPA's globally is another key reflection
  • Because "I'm worth it" is the mentality of self indulgence
5. Examples of Simplicity Searchers
  • More likely to be open to intermediated travel
  • Places a premium on travel agents that can simplify the overall booking pro­cess
  • This trend is already starting to occur in the market today
  • More interest is expected from this profile towards smartly organized packaged bundles of travel options, as opposed to a wide range of time consuming items to choose from
6. Examples of  Social Capital Seekers
  • Desire peer validation and decision making through the medium of social net­works
  • It's foreseen the emergence of Social Media booking agents and customer service will arise
  • Encouraging these profile of travellers to share reviews and interact is a way forward
  • The growth of Tripadviser is a classic reflection of this personality profile  
Clearly the travel scene is changing as more people globally embrace the travel sector, hence the industry must pre­pare for increasingly empowered travellers who strongly desire to take ever more control over their travel and vacation.
Technology, connectivity, engagement, Social Media, Smart Phones and more besides empower 21st Century travellers with a complete view and more insightful perspective of travel. As such the choices availa­ble by 2030 will give rise to hyper-customisation and travel providers in addition to Tourism Boards that should support them, will need to recalibrate and adapt to this new world reality.
The ultimate goal of the report was to inspire and spark debate across the travel and tourism industry, regarding how to adequately prepare and better cater for the travellers of tomorrow. 
In summary, the travel and tourism industry and those that operate within it, will need to better appreci­ate how the informed travellers of the future will generate demand for their desires, purpose, preferances, tastes and attitudes. New products and services will need to be developed, especially based on personalisa­tion linked to the personalites described above. 

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