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The science of planning for the future needs of travelers

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As travel growth continues to accelerate, understanding our rapidly changing world has become imperative for travel and tourism practitioners. With emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, growing aspirations for more sustainable living and changing personal priorities, there are multiple factors that will ultimately affect how people travel and what they expect from travel sellers and suppliers.

The Traveler Tribes 2033 study is the latest global study commissioned by travel technology leader Amadeus. It’s an attempt to glimpse the future and see how people will want to travel ten years from now.

The research identifies future transformative forces transforming travel, as well as emerging traveler characteristics, behaviors and preferences, to understand exactly what travelers might want in ten years.

Northstar Research Partners was commissioned to lead the study, which surveyed 10,345 travelers across 15 key markets, including the UAE, UK, US, India and China, asking 248,323 questions and aggregating nearly 6 million data points point.

This information formed the backbone of the research and was combined with input from 22 experts in various fields to provide a solid basis for the findings. Research techniques and proven methodologies are designed by Future Institute, an expert practitioner in the field of future trend forecasting science.

These techniques include asking travelers about their expectations for age, income and family status in 2033, as well as written exercises to open their minds to what life might look like ten years from now, and guide them with written descriptions Affects travel in 2033.

It is also important to ask travelers how they think other people will behave in 2033, not how they will behave. Research by the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago shows that this is a more accurate way of understanding people’s behavior.

All of this is to get people thinking about travel 10 years from now with a future-proof mindset. The results suggest that while travel is changing, the way we understand travelers is not keeping pace. Therefore, it is important to create a new way of segmenting passengers.

The research helps put a longer-term perspective on how travelers will behave over the next decade. While attitudes are transient over time, behavioral attitudes that influence how travelers think and make decisions may persist over longer periods of time, allowing for a more accurate picture of the future.

Traveler Tribes 2033 identifies four emerging traveler tribes today that will shape future traveler needs. For example, “Travel Tech Influencers” have high hopes that travel should leverage technology for a smoother and better connected experience, such as using biometrics to speed up airport boarding. Not surprisingly, this traveler tribe includes business travelers.

“Memory Makers,” on the other hand, value travel because the memories they create and the places they’ve been are above all else. They love curating memorable vacation experiences and love using technology to help relive them. “Excited Experiencers” have a “try it and see” lifestyle, are middle-to-high income earners with little commitment, and are well-positioned to explore the world.

The last group in the tribe, the “pioneering pathfinders,” likes to combine people and technology to plan their trips for them. Their above-average income allows them to lead progressive, fast-paced lives, always looking for their next big adventure. They also showed a desire to travel more sustainably.

Traveler Tribes 2033 goes beyond simple traditional classifications of age, gender, location, and socioeconomic status to identify individuals based on their psychographic characteristics, their willingness to travel, explore, and seek adventure, and how these things will be affected by new technologies when they when it appears.

Armed with this information, Amadeus can now work with its partners to respond to the changing needs of travelers over the next decade and create solutions that provide a better travel experience.

about the author
Jamel Chandoul is Senior Vice President of META & EMEA Partner Markets Travel Sellers.

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