Four have become six as Amadeus revisits its Traveller Tribes study, with the original published back in 2007.
Things have definitely moved on and not only in technological advances but also in the economic and political landscape and in consumer behaviour.
So without further ado, today's six segments as laid out in Future Traveller Tribes 2030 i.e. those segment expected to shape travel going forward, are:
- Simplicity searchers - people who just want ease and transparency in travel planning and are happy to hand over organisation to third parties.
- Cultural plurists - those willing to immerse themselves in the unfamiliar.
- Social capital seekers - an interesting bunch who see being well-travelled as a 'personal quality' and exploit social media to inform their potential experiences as well as play them to their audiences.
- Reward hungers - travellers looking for a return on the investment of how hard they work. It could be physical or mental enrichment and they often looking for something out of the ordinary or luxurious.
- Obligation meeters - this group is probably best depicted by business travellers who have a purpose for being somewhere at a certain time but are still seeking out experiences.
- Finally, ethical travellers - they might visit a place for environmental reasons or political beliefs.
Anyone remembering back to the Amadeus Traveller Tribes 2020
report published in 2007, which incidentally was when the first generation iPhone emerged, might recall the segment devoted to the ageing population, the cosmopolitan commuters or the high-flying global executive group.
What's different this time around is the body of work projects forward to 2030 and takes into account the psychographic make-up of the tribes in terms of attitudes, personality traits, values and lifestyles.
It also provides a fairly comprehensive backdrop to the groups in terms of the demographic, economic, consumer and technology landscapes come 2030.
Drawing on just one of the possible consumer trends going forward shows a world where the sheer volume of digital information has created demand for engines and agents to package services up for consumers for easy comparison.
Another worthy of note might be the idea of 'perfect price discrimination' where travel brands set rates by drawing on data from multiple sources including browsing, past purchase behaviour, IP location and social media influence.
Many of the outcomes thrown up in the technology landscape also deserve a mention. Developments around multi-purpose devices, virtual assistants and biometrics are well underway.
But, what about the power of community and how current review sites might evolve into repositories of hotels, attractions, businesses?
The research highlights a scenario of a TripAdvisor-style professional, reliable hub of information with trusted moderators and commentators whose user base could actually shape how a destination might be designed with themselves in mind.
Now, before we all try and identify ourselves with one of the tribes, it's worth noting that they're not meant to be mutually exclusive and that travellers might dip in and out during different periods of their lives.
Amadeus wants the research, which was conducted by the Future Foundation, h to form the basis of discussion on how travellers are changing.
The distribution giant is also planning a second study, for publication later in the year, around how the industry can match the needs of these tribes through better retailing.