Amadeus recently revealed the six traveller personalities and segments the industry can expect to become prominent over the next 15 years in a groundbreaking study that will force the travel sector to re-engineer the way it packages, sells and markets its products and services.
Instead of focusing on demographics, the Future Traveller Tribes 2030: Understanding Tomorrow’s Travellers report based its research on travel behaviour, acknowledging that increasingly, the lines between age groups and their once inherent travel patterns are now blurred.
The idea behind the study was to help Amadeus customers and partners “shape the future of travel”, according to the travel technology firm’s senior vice president Airline IT, Julia Sattel.
Understanding the motivation, behaviour and attitude of people when they buy travel is essential if travel providers and sellers are to be successful in the future, she said.
The six “tribes” outlined in the study ranged from ‘social capital seekers’, who use social media to brag about their travels and seek feed-friendly experiences that will recreate re-Tweets and re-posts, to ‘cultural purists’ whose main motivation for travelling is to get under the skin of a destination in pursuit of authenticity.
However, they all have two things in common. Firstly, they will all become increasingly dependent on technology and secondly, they will all seek personalised offerings based on their travel behaviour and motivations.
So whether you are a travel agent, tour operator or a travel service provider, it is imperative that going forward, you understand what drives your customers’ travel behaviour.
This requirement could actually give bricks-and-mortar agents an edge over the competition, with the face-to-face relationship some will have with their customers paying true dividends.
However, this must also be backed up with a sophisticated CRM system that monitors customer behaviour, creating packages and deals suited to their unique requirements.
A robust social media strategy is another must, not only as a means of on-going customer interaction, but increasingly as a marketing tool that targets travellers on the go.
Most customers travel with at least one mobile device and the Amadeus research highlighted the opportunity to up-sell add-ons to these tech-driven clients throughout their entire trip
This strategy, whereby travel behaviour is constantly monitored and consumers are marketed to with personalised offers any time, any place, anywhere, requires and change in mindset.
However, once embraced, it will put the bricks-and-mortar sceptics in their place.
The doom-and-gloom forecasts 10 years ago predicting the demise of offline agents by the big OTAs will be blown out of the water if the traditional travel trade sector plays to its strengths.
Given the level of personalisation now demanded by the travelling public, agents who invest in cutting-edge technology, but back this up with their service skills, customer relationship expertise and product knowledge, are onto a winning formula.