Industries like to categorize customers, attaching attributes and a profile to each with demographics such as age, income and location. This segmentation helps them target different groups with products and services to greater effect.
Travel is no different, although it has always been a little harder to segment customers because of the infrequency of trips and their varying nature - business travel, family trips, solo travel, bleisure, etc.
Amadeus is attempting to define four distinct groups with its latest Traveler Tribes 2033 study, which reveals four tribes - Excited Experientialists, Memory Makers, Travel Tech-fluencers and Pioneering Pathfinders.
Those with good memories will recall previous tribe studies from the technology specialist in 2015 and in 2007.
Before delving into each of the latest tribes in more detail, it’s important to note the forces that are likely to affect their travel in 2033 and the attitudes of each group to these forces, the report says.
Disruption from a number of forces including politics, technology innovation, artificial intelligence, data developments and the drive for a more sustainable life all contribute to how people feel about travel, according to the report.
The study also aims to take the psychology of travelers into account - curiosity around the unknown versus the fear of it.
To gauge how travelers might feel going forward, the study presented them with a concept of how travel might look in 2033 with a view on AI, data, virtual reality, the planet, work trends, touchless technology and biometric data.
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Interesting to note in terms of how Amadeus, and travel suppliers more widely, might use the insight from the report is that Pioneering Pathfinders make up 43% of travelers, 25% are Excited Experientialists, 17% are Memory Makers and 15% are Travel Tech-fluencers.
Your tribe or mine
Excited Experientialists are an impulsive bunch that makes decisions on instinct rather than information. This group has mid- to high incomes and are often able to work flexibly. Their propensity to make impulsive choices also makes them less likely to use a third party to book travel because it makes things too predictable and they’re comfortable with no plans.
While 23% of this cohort believe travel in 2033 will be “vastly different” than it is today, 51% think it will be similar. In addition, 51% are excited about the possibilities when the concept was shared with them.
Memory Makers are generally of a lower income than other tribes. They distrust technology, prefer to buy things in person than online and are more loss averse. While other cohorts embrace change more readily, this set actively avoids it. For 41% of this group, travel in 2033 will be similar or the same. When confronted with the concept of travel in 2033, they were unpleasantly surprised, and 56% were concerned about it.
Travel tech-fluencers are viewed as today’s young business travelers with 48% of this group under 32. With 75% of this group traveling for work, they like to have a plan and be in control. While they say sustainability dictates their decisions, that tends to be only if it’s convenient. They are also more fearful of cyber attacks and data safety than other groups. When it comes to travel in 2033, 53% of this tribe believe it will be different than today, which splits their emotions between excited about what might be coming and fear of the unknown.
Pioneering Pathfinders are not only the largest tribe but they also seems easier to pin down with 82% of the group between ages 23 and 41. In addition, 68% live with partners and children and have an above-average income. Perhaps because of their busy lives, they like to have a plan and tend not to be impulsive - 74% make decisions based on information. Within this cohort, 42% think trips in 2033 will be different than today and 54% of them want to see artificial intelligence play a greater role in trip planning.
Excitement versus anxiety
Alongside internal and external views, Amadeus surveyed more than 10,300 travelers to help define the traveler tribes and deduce what they're excited about as well as their concerns.
The top five things that travelers are most excited about for trips in 2033 are traveling to destinations more quickly (44%), the ability to remember trips in more vivid ways (36%), more environmentally friendly travel (36%) and technology to ease friction (35%).
Meanwhile, the five things travelers that most concerns travelers about trips in 2033 are more frequent cyber attacks (44%), the safety of data sharing (41%), affordability (36%), political instability (36%) and sustainable choices leading to higher costs (34%).
The report also highlights how the four tribes might evolve, suggesting they may fragment and/or merge, leading to the formation of new tribes.
For example, the Pioneers of Pioneering could break away from the Pathfinders to discover new paths and be at the forefront of trends.
Similarly, a Hardcore Habituals group could form from Tech-fluencers and Memory Makers who refuse to embrace change while a Meta Massive tribe could be created with members living increasingly in a virtual world.
Travel Tribes 2033 was conducted in partnership with Northstar Research Partners and includes insight from 22 internal and external experts, including psychologists, futurists and academics as well as responses from a survey of more than 10,300 travelers across 15 countries.