How Kimpton Hotels creates personalised guest experiences

Paul Rantilla

EVP Global Sales, Hospitality, Amadeus IT Group

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Through our Future Traveller Tribes 2030: Beyond Air Travel research, we’ve learned a great deal about the various tribes identified, including:

laying down in bed in the new hotel room


  • Simplicity Searchers, who value ease above all else.
  • Cultural Purists, who use travel as an opportunity to immerse in new cultures.
  • Social Capital Seekers, who see travel as an enviable personal quality.
  • Reward Hunters, who seek a return on the investment they make in travel.
  • Obligation Meeters, who have their travel restricted by some bounded objective.
  • Ethical Travellers, who allow their conscience be their guide when organising travel.

Hotel players too have used this research to provide their guests with more personalised experiences. A great example of this is the boutique hotel brand, Kimpton Hotels, which became part of IHG at the end of 2014. A representative from Kimpton explained that it does not formally segment its customer base, beyond the topline breakdown of business, leisure, group, and meeting attendee. "Our foundational principle as a brand is to offer a warm and welcoming, personalised experience, which we believe is a universal requirement, whatever demographic or psychographic group our guest belongs to."

But within this brand proposition, Kimpton said that the concept of the tribes informs the "texture" of its individual relationship with each customer. "We think in terms of emotional touchpoints rather than customer journey touchpoints."Social Capital Seekersare one tribe "we are very interested in and who are interested in us. We are very much engaged with social, mainly because it helps us to see the guest experience literally through the lens of the guest," noting that the brand pays close attention to the specific visuals that are shared by guests on Instagram and Pinterest.

Future travel tribes 2030

Kimpton was one of the first hotel companies to help guests earn additional loyalty recognition by engaging with social media. "But our loyalty scheme is not about the points, it's about helping us get to know the guests better so we can deliver the best experience."

And the personal touch applies toObligation Meetersas well. "Clearly, we get a lot of people staying with us on business, but we still need to react to these Obligation Meeters appropriately. We train our property teams to gauge the energy, so if a guest arrives late after a delayed flight our staff can recognise this and respond accordingly."

Cultural Purist and Ethical Travellers

Interestingly, Kimpton added that characteristics of Cultural Puristtravellers could be applied to the the brand. "We've been providing authentic, locally-shaped experiences ever since the company was founded. It's about the design of the rooms, the art on the walls. We want to curate the local feeling so that when our guests leave the hotel they feel as if they've had a truly local experience, not something from the tourist map."

Kimpton also nods towards theEthical Travellersin its brand ethos, with the company’s focus on its sustainability credentials, from optimising energy use across the hotels to using locally-sourced foods in its restaurants and catering operations.

For more insights about the travellers tribes of tomorrow,check out the full research here.