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Some of the tribes we’ve covered have ‘soft’ travel objectives – such as enjoyment, relaxation, skill-acquisition, and to an extent popularity building. Obligation Meeters on the other hand travel for ‘hard’ objectives, such as meeting clients, attending seminars, or surgical procedures.
These objectives place important limitations on the choices Obligation Meeters have for their travel. They will almost invariably specify times and dates of travel and they might place specific restrictions on budget and payment methods. Obligation Meeters include business travellers, Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) travellers, health tourists, and students attending conferences and seminars, or on short-term study grants.
Obligation Meeters will favour a no-hassle, choice minimal approach to booking flights, and will be receptive to the intelligent cross selling of linked transport, accommodation and services in certain circumstances. Booking systems will need to flexibly adapt between ‘expensed’ accounts and their own for spending. Booking systems that can also offer a chance for more relaxed leisure ‘bolt-ons’ will be welcomed by many, particularly those obligated by business that may wish to attach a short break or destination experience for themselves.
By 2030, advanced forms of airport check-in technology will reduce waiting time and communicate with passengers when things go wrong. Push messaging to proprietary airport apps, or even old-fashioned texts, will be vehicles to help Obligation Meeters know where they need to be precisely when, reducing waiting time, and ‘paperless’ boarding will quickly become mainstream. Boarding might, in 2030, be as simple as presenting a smartwatch, or even displaying the vein pattern in your wrist to a smart sensor.
Company time will be carefully distinguished from leisure time for Obligation Meeters, who will want to keep track of spending at all times, but without any fiddly accountancy. The setting of spending limits, or systems which automatically select the appropriate payment channel according to certain criteria (size of spend, spending category, etc.) may be an option here. App-based cashless payment systems will also play an important role for this tribe, as the hassle of switching between debit cards will be an outdated concern.
One of the most powerful incentives for loyalty from Obligation Meeters will be the impact of so-called ‘network effects’. Data systems become more powerful and efficient the more input they receive. Frequent flyers will be incentivised to use the same airlines as carriers will develop an ever more nuanced intuition of the flyer’s preferences. Switching airlines will have punitive effects – proactive messaging and tailoring of services will be more approximate. Future flyers will understand this dynamic, and this may encourage them to share their data.
Though Obligation Meeters will travel with some central objective, they will plan or perhaps more likely improvise leisure around this central objective. Download our Traveller Tribes 2030 report to learn more about Obligation Meeters.