Originally published on Hospitality Net
By: Francisco Pérez-Lozao Ruter, President, Hospitality, Amadeus
I just recently learned that I’m a Travel Tech-fluencer. What do I mean by that? Through extensive research and a survey of 10,000 global travelers, Amadeus looked into the future to understand what would drive traveler interest and habits by 2033. This insight produced 4 distinct Traveler Tribes – Travel Tech-fluencers, Excited Experientialists, Pioneering Pathfinders, and Memory Makers. By taking the survey myself, I learned I’m motivated by the latest technology and how it can make my trip smoother, memorable, and more rewarding.
This is exactly the focus of every hospitality technology provider – to ensure their customers and partners have the tools they need to service guests, grow their business, and plan for the future. And this doesn’t happen without constant innovation. What are some ways hoteliers can meet the needs of travelers today as well as the emerging tribes of the future? Here’s my advice.
Experiment with Travel Tech-fluencers
I am part of the 15% of travelers that are defined as Travel Tech-fluencers, the tribe with the most tech-forward perspective on life. We are in tune with the metaverse, cryptocurrency, hotel automation, and smart technology. As confident go-getters, we are always on the lookout for opportunities to experiment with the latest advancements in hotel technology – so we tend to gravitate towards properties offering bespoke stays.
This makes attribute-based selling especially important for those of us who want to customize our stay and discover “the next big thing”. Why settle for a standard hotel room when you can curate your own during the booking process to include unexpected features like video games, virtual reality headsets, yoga mats, or musical instruments? This is true guest personalization come to life, and a valuable upsell opportunity for the hotel.
I can also attest as a Travel Tech-fluencer that we will expect a seamless transition from home to hotel room, considering the property as an opportunity to test new tech interactions as part of building a memorable, smarter experience on our journey.
Delight the Excited Experientialists
This group has a YOLO (you only live once) approach to life, putting experiences at the top of their travel wish list over material objects. Aligning closely with today’s digital nomads or “bleisure” travelers, Excited Experientialists are a mid to high income group with flexible working options and often, no children at home.
To appeal to this segment’s go with the flow lifestyle, a hotelier offering enticing packages to support remote work might tempt these open-minded explorers with extracurriculars such as a cooking class run by the resort chef or an after dark sightseeing tour arranged by the concierge.
This tribe is the least likely to plan ahead and prefer the freedom of spontaneous travel, so the easier the hotel makes it for these travelers to live in the moment, the more engaging their offerings will be. Packages and promotions that can be purchased at the click of a button present real growth opportunities for the business, while providing options for guests to build the trip of their dreams on a whim.
Inspire the Pioneering Pathfinders
Unafraid of risk and preferring to make plans based on information rather than instinct, Pioneering Pathfinders are well aware that technology will shape travel over the next decade. With above average incomes and a strong interest in personal wellness, adventure, and sustainability, this group is drawn to fresh, new travel experiences.
Having grown up in the digital age, these Gen Z and/or Millennials embrace the positive role technology plays in travel and are comfortable engaging with apps and services on their devices, such as AI-enabled voice messaging, contactless hotel check-in, and digital room keys. Providing seamless touchpoints to this group is a welcome addition to the hotel experience, supporting a Pioneering Pathfinder’s desire to connect their own technology to in-room offerings so they can smoothly transition from home to their new “home away from home”.
With sustainability also high on their radar, this group appreciates the ability to choose how they consume staff and property resources. Hoteliers should empower them to control their own room environments (temperature/lighting) to reduce unnecessary energy consumption and reuse towels and other hygienic items to minimize water and plastic waste.
Support the Memory Makers
Instead of exotic adventures and cutting-edge technology, this group favors a more simple and habitual approach to travel. Memory Makers don’t want to stress when they’re away from home, making them the perfect guest loyalty segment.
Hotels that provide friendly and professional service, a comfortable stay, and value for their money – Memory Makers tend to have low to medium income levels – will appeal to this group of technology and change-averse travelers. If a property or brand can reliably offer these core services, this group will happily return, knowing that they will be taken care of.
To foster long lasting relationships, hoteliers should look to create comprehensive guest profiles by pulling data from across their technology stack and storing it in a centralized place like a guest management system. This will enable hoteliers to better understand and interact with this group based on their preferences, such as targeted onsite promotions or email communications. The more a brand or property can embrace the concepts of loyalty and personal connection that are so important to Memory Makers, the more success they will have in pleasing these guests and ensuring they return time and time again.
Our Traveler Tribes research provides a snapshot of the complex behaviors we see today, and what will characterize travelers of the future. First and foremost, the study highlights the importance of innovation and personalization in creating the smoother, more authentic journeys travelers crave. But this can’t be achieved without collaboration from technology providers across the industry. An open, connected ecosystem is vital to a hotelier’s ability to effectively manage their business and meet the needs of travelers today and in the future – before, during and after their trips.
For more on our hospitality technology portfolio and to find out which Traveler Tribe you are a part of, visit our website.