‘Social Capital Seekers’ miss the point of travel

‘Social Capital Seekers’ miss the point of travel

Mark Elliott considers the new "traveller tribe" revealed by Amadeus

Mark Elliott considers the new "traveller tribe" revealed by Amadeus

A report released last week revealed the six types of “traveller tribe” that are expected to emerge by 2030.

From authentic culture seekers and moral crusaders to those people who simply need to get somewhere, the Amadeus study provided an intriguing breakdown of how the world could travel 15 years from now.

But it was the rise of the so-called ‘Social Capital Seekers’ that raised the most eyebrows. These people, according to the report, will “structure their holidays almost exclusively with online audiences in mind”.

Mark Elliott considers the new "traveller tribe" revealed by Amadeus
Social Capital Seekers plans their holidays with online audiences in mind

And the first reaction to this, or my reaction at least, was; what an awful bunch of people. Imagine actually planning your holiday simply so you can show off to people on Facebook.

But it does ring true; one can easily imagine groups of (probably young) people taking a relentless stream of selfies, then checking their phones every 10 seconds to see how many Likes they’ve got.

But after considering this for a while, I realised that Social Capital Seekers aren’t new. They’ve been around for years, only they never previously had social media to provide that instant hit of gratification.

I’m sure you’ve all encountered the travel show-off; if you went to Koh Samui, he went 10 years ago, before it got commercialised. If you took a two-week trip in India, he spent a month there. If you went to Tenerife, he went to Eleven-erife.

But the problem for Social Capital Seekers (apart from their chronic need for attention, of course) is that all the time they’re looking at Facebook, they’re not actually experiencing their destination. It defeats the whole objective of travelling (unless of course, your objective is to gather Likes).

On the excellent airport documentary spoof ‘Come Fly with Me’, one of the check-in girls is describing her recent holiday, saying how wonderful it was to sunbathe by the pool, sipping cocktails. When asked be her colleague which country she visited, she looks bemused; “Well I didn’t catch the name of the place.”

So perhaps it’s a good thing that Social Capital Seekers post everything to Facebook – it’s probably the only way they can remember where they went.

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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