The six traveller tribes we expect to emerge and rise in prominence by 2030, which were identified in our research, are not bothered about hospitality industry debates, like “direct bookings versus OTAs”. Rather, they want the best hotel for their specific needs, at the right price, and nothing else.
For Simplicity Searchers, the reassurance that a chain hotel gives is ideal. This traveller tribe will have a limited range of preferred brands and it is up to these brands to make sure they are aware of the loyalty shown by this tribe. They will expect consistency and ease of check-in and check-out as basic requirements. But a high standard of service delivery will also create an atmosphere of satisfaction for this tribe.
Cultural Purists are not likely to be big fans of the branded chain property. They are prime candidates for private accommodations, believing that staying in someone’s home means they are not really a tourist. They will choose a property in an up-and-coming hip neighbourhood rather than Hotel Alley. Location, design, catering and community engagement are elements of the hotel’s make-up which can be positioned to appeal to this tribe.
Social Capital Seekers are the ideal candidates for hi-tech hotels as they become more mainstream. How cool would they be, posting pictures of the robot concierge or telling their social network about voice-activated curtains? Meanwhile, taking bookings via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram gives hotels the chance to deal directly with this tribe, cutting out the costs of the middleman by engaging with this tribe where they are most likely to be found.
For Reward Hunters, spa treatments, the view, the size of the in-room TV, even the thread count of the bed linen all make a difference. Attention to detail is a prerequisite in appealing to this tribe. Hotels that target the Reward Hunter traveller need to have business processes in place which ensure that every guest’s stay is discretely micro-managed to deliver excellence at every touch point.
Obligation Meeters just need somewhere to sleep and shower. Budget hotel chains offer exactly this, but need to make sure that they satisfy these modest requirements. Another aspect of the hotel stay that is important to Obligation Meeters is the location. Hotels should aim to deliver the highest standard of service for these tribes within their defined parameters with a minimum of having at least free Wi-Fi.
Renting private accommodation will be ideal for Ethical Travellers, but there is an opportunity for hotel chains to position themselves as sustainable. Before booking, this tribe will need to see evidence that the hotel has effective water management, pays its staff a decent wage and uses local suppliers where possible. Requests to re-use towels and turn off the lights are no longer even a bare minimum.
Read more about these tribes in our Future Tribes 2030: Beyond Air Travel report.