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How the traveller tribes of 2030 will traverse airports

Yannick Beunardeau

Global Head of Sales and Marketing, Airport IT, Amadeus IT Group

Travellers expect to be kept informed, connected, and safe especially when they’re at the airport. These expectations continue to grow and our latest research Future Traveller Tribes 2030: Beyond Air Travel delves into how the six traveller tribes might reshape other industry segments, including airports. For one reason or another, ranging from frustrating security queues to overpriced bottles of water, travellers seem to dread the airport experience. However, there are opportunities for airport players to change these perceptions. Here are a few ideas for consideration:

inside the airport

Simplicity Searchers

This tribe wants to be led around the airport and their smartphones or wearable device will be a navigation aid, not a channel for marketing messages from duty-free retailers. They will expect directions to be delivered in their native language – of particular importance for new travellers from emerging markets. Airports with responsive digital signage, or which offer translation apps, can keep things simple.

Cultural Purists

This tribe has a functional approach to the airport experience and might even seek out smaller, less commercial departure and arrival points to avoid the crowd. Since they are interested in exploring the lesser known attractions, they are more receptive to an informal and alternative tone in marketing messages.

Social Capital Seekers

A willingness to share personal data makes this tribe a marketer's dream. They are also receptive to marketing messages, so long as they are relevant. Airport operators and their partners can also benefit from the fact that this tribe is always connected, available, and digitally responsive.

Reward Hunters

The airport experience demanded by Reward Hunters is a VIP-level of service, bypassing the usual security queues, check-in procedures, and wait-at-the-gate. They want to breeze through the airport and take to the air without missing a beat. Airports already offer some of these services for royalty and A-list celebrities – Reward Hunters expect to be treated in the same way and will pay for the privilege.

Obligation Meeters

The airport is a functional element of their trip, and this tribe is likely to include experienced travellers. They will expect initiatives such as the US Trusted Traveller scheme to be in place around the globe. Easy check-in is also a given – some airports have trialled location-based Bluetooth check-in – similar schemes need to be rolled out more widely for this tribe.

Ethical Travellers

Ethical Travellers like to know that their travel choices are as sustainable as possible. To meet the expectations and needs of this tribe, airports must take steps to ensure they reduce, as far as possible, any negative effects on the environment from their operations – and that they communicate these efforts effectively to travellers. By doing so, they will be able to provide a meaningful offer to them.

To find out more about how these traveller segments will impact the travel industry – read the full Future Traveller Tribes 2030: Beyond Air Travel report.


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