Originally published in PhocusWire
Global hotel demand is off to a strong start in 2023, with Q1 outperforming hotel occupancy figures for the same months in 2022, according to Amadeus’ Demand360® data as of March 12, 2023. As the industry continues to bounce back, we can only wonder – what will travel look like in 10 years?
A global research study from Amadeus – Traveler Tribes 2033 – tackles this question through a psychographic survey of 10,000 travelers across 15 markets to understand exactly what they will want a decade from now. By examining the forces transforming travel along with traveler behaviors and preferences, the research uncovers four Traveler Tribes that will emerge by 2033 – Excited Experientialists, Pioneering Pathfinders, Travel Tech-fluencers, and Memory Makers.
The research suggests that many travelers will be open to new and innovative technologies and will want to travel in more sustainable ways. In fact, 34% of those surveyed say they are most excited about the technology that could reduce problems during trips in 2033. This introduces a big opportunity for the hospitality industry to take note – and prepare for the hotel guest of the future. Here’s how:
Thrill the Excited Experientialists
This group has a “try it and see” approach to life, with higher incomes and flexible working options. They seek out new experiences instead of material objects, favoring a YOLO (you only live once) mindset.
Hotel managers that think outside the box will have a lot to offer this traveler segment. Since Excited Experientialists are the least likely to plan ahead and may be digital nomads or “bleisure” travelers, try offering enticing packages to support remote work with extracurriculars at the property. Maybe after a long day spent in their hotel room, they want to spontaneously book a mixology class at the hotel bar, learn to scuba dive at the onsite pool, or sign up for a local sightseeing tour offered by a partner.
The easier the hotel makes it for these travelers to embrace living in the moment, the more it will introduce valuable new revenue streams and growth for the business. It also means more excitement and options for guests to pursue the trip of their dreams.
Wow the Pioneering Pathfinders
Similar to Excited Experientialists, hoteliers should aim to maximize spend from Pioneering Pathfinders. As Gen Z and/or Millennials, this group has above-average incomes and progressive, fast-paced lives. They are interested in sustainability and smart technology when they travel.
To best suit this audience, hoteliers should prepare to provide seamless touchpoints whenever possible through features like contactless hotel check-ins, digital room keys, room service robots, and AI-enabled text or voice messaging. This will support their desire to connect their own technology to in-room offerings so they smoothly transition from home to their new “home away from home”.
From a sustainability standpoint, Pioneering Pathfinders also appreciate choosing how they interact with staff and property resources, such as opting to preset their room environment (temperature/lighting) to reduce unnecessary energy consumption and reusing towels and other hygienic items to minimize water and plastic waste.
Using technology to automate processes and put the guest in control of their trip can ease the burden of labor shortages and resolve other operational inefficiencies.
Explore the Next Big Thing with Travel Tech-fluencers
Hotel automation and smart technology are equally as important to Travel Tech-fluencers. These are today’s young business travelers with a more-tech forward perspective on life. They are in tune with the metaverse and cryptocurrency. They want to try all the exciting advancements in hotel technology, making attribute-based selling especially important for this crowd.
By including unique non-room features like video games, virtual reality headsets, yoga mats, or surfboards as part of the booking process, hoteliers can generate upsell opportunities while delivering a personalized and bespoke guest stay of the future.
Travel Tech-fluencers will also expect a seamless transition from home to hotel room, but with even higher expectations than Pioneering Pathfinders. They would look to the property as an opportunity to test new tech interactions as part of building a memorable, smarter experience on their journey.
Comfort the Memory Makers
This group takes a more habitual and simple approach to travel, preferring to make memories than experience exotic adventures or cutting-edge technology.
For hoteliers, this is the perfect guest loyalty segment. Memory Makers are looking for a property to provide them with an easy booking process, a comfortable stay, and friendly and professional service at an economy or mid-tier price point. If they do, this group will look to stay time and time again as they will know what to expect, and that they will be taken care of.
Hoteliers can look to create guest profiles by pulling in data from systems across the hotel tech stack. This will enable hoteliers to truly understand their guests and interact with them according to their preferences, whether its communications during or post-stay, or future email promotions.
The more a property or brand can prove they truly know the guest, the deeper loyalty goes – particularly for this segment of travelers who are more inclined to take the hassle out of the process to have a memorable experience.
Traveler Tribes 2033 presents a fascinating blend of behaviors that exist today, and those that will take priority in the future. Above all, the study highlights the importance of personalization and innovation across the hospitality spectrum. Meeting the needs of today’s travelers and these future Tribes will require an open, connected ecosystem and collaboration from technology providers. This ensures hoteliers will have the right tools in place and the data necessary to effectively manage their business – from where they present their offer, to the booking journey, onsite, and after the trip. Personalization is about so much more than just the moment of booking, and Amadeus helps hoteliers personalize every moment of the traveler journey.
For more on our hospitality technology portfolio and Traveler Tribes, visit our website.