Future Traveller Tribes and the disintermediated future
The majority of brands are trying to differentiate in a world where differentiation is almost impossible on many of the key drivers that sway travel decisions, from price to product. The result is that many organisations attempt to differentiate on things they can’t actually deliver on – and social media shines a spotlight on this gap. At the same time, we have entered the age of disintermediation where the rate of change outside the business often exceeds the rate of change inside organisations – and all too often, bad decisions and knee-jerk reactions are the result.
This was the view of Mike Stopforth, CEO of Cerebra, who presented on the Future Traveller Tribes and the disintermediated future at the recent GBTA Southern Africa Conference.
“The ten years between 2005 and 2015 will be as big a deal as Gutenberg’s printing press was before the industrial revolution,” says Stopforth, He identified four key principles that currently fuel the internet:
- Conversation: Blogs have allowed people the opportunity to not only comment on other people’s content, but also to create their own websites without having to be an html expert. The web has become a far more interactive space where corporates are likely to air their views on their business travel experiences.
- Authenticity: People are held accountable for what they publish and need to be aware that what they are putting out on public platforms can be viewed by the world. Organisations need to carefully consider their social media policies to ensure employees don’t cause any reputational damage.
- Trust: Successful disintermediated businesses create the technological connection between a required service and recommendations from trusted network of friends, and monetise it. Airbnb and Uber are all examples of this in action and as corporates increasingly use these services in their personal lives, so too will we see these businesses playing a bigger role in the business travel environment.
- Sharing: Previously, the information you had was what made you powerful – but now what makes you powerful is sharing that knowledge. Technology enables organisations to easily relay information to corporate travellers, which is particularly useful in the case of travel disruptions.
“Travel companies that use the principles that fuel the internet, along those that gain a proper understanding of technology and the platforms that are available, are likely to become astonishingly powerful now and into the future.”
He added that another way travel companies can ensure their survival is by specialising and focusing on specialist segments. Whether it be Social Capital Seekers, Ethical Travellers, or Obligation Meeters, niche markets are springing up everywhere and providing tremendous opportunities for future growth.
The Amadeus Future Traveller Tribe 2030 report is an invaluable research paper for your business and will help understand where we are now and what the future holds. You can download the full report here