Gaining insight into the traveler is critical for service providers to tailor and deliver a great service that brings customers back. Before they put forward a travel plan it has become important for Travel Agent to first evaluate the customer tribe and accordingly suggest a plan.
Travel experts have tried to group travelers into Tourism Communities with similar travel outlook.
Purposeful Traveler: Traveler going to a destination for a specific purpose like business meetings/conferences, Weddings, Spiritual Travel and such. The travel for such people revolves around the desire to be somewhere at a particular day & time and the Travel Planner must keep this in mind while suggested a restaurant or a Hotel. In case of business travel a perfect balance between time and cost has to be maintained and a Travel Agent is well trained to pick out the best itinerary from the mass of data spilling out of the internet.
The Adventurer: This could be the xtreme adventurer who has no need for a Travel Agent or even an OTA. But there are the not so extreme adventurers who would like to seek out thrill in any vacation they take. The TA must be able to assess whether this young couple or even the family is looking for some offbeat fun and accordingly design an itinerary that enhances the holiday experience.
The Luxury Traveler: This tribe has two types of categories. The luxury traveler who is just looking for a relaxed few days, with a minimum of movement and lots of partying. There is also a serious traveler who would like experiencing new things and has the desire to soak into the local culture as much as any other kind of traveler, but wants do it in style. A luxury Hotel , a chauffeur driven car, good food is a must for this Tribe. Clearly they will not be happy with just visiting the brochure listed sights and want a wholesome cultural experience. The TA needs to asses which type of luxury traveler is he servicing and accordingly tailor make an itinerary that fulfills his/her desire. If your assessment is wrong not only you lose your customer but also spoil the vacation.
The Spontaneous traveler: The millennials and solo travelers would be a good example. A TA must be always ready with suggestions for a ‘leaving tomorrow’ customer. TA must also have comprehensive online and offline resources to complete all such bookings in record time to satisfy the traveler. ELSE the OTA’s are well positioned to cater to such travelers. TA must also remember the unique opportunity the TA has, since such travelers do not have much time to research and are most amenable to suggestion….
Risk Averse: A large part of the Indian middle class traveler in India fall in this category. The risk averse traveler are the most willing to let the expert TA take care of all the travel plans rather than spend time researching on the net and risk the unknown. TA have been helping such people fine tune their travel plans since generations and will continue to do so.
The Culture Traveler: It’s all about the local culture. It’s about living with a local, a homestay. It’s all about eating the local food, about visiting the markets where the locals go, it’s about participating in local events. TA have long stayed away from home stays and looked at destinations only as holiday/vacation spots. Its time TA went a bit deeper to understand the local culture and think like a local. This tribe has traditionally stayed away from TAs, but with the competition from OTA’s difficult to fight, these niche experiential markets are what will give you an edge. Great connections to destination services and unique content will be the key to convince them of your value.
At the dawn of the internet, travel agents were seen by many observers as a profession most exposed to the new digital world order. But travel agents have certainly not disappeared. They are disruption veterans and transformation experts, and still account for a large proportion of the global travel market. Travelexic is one such technology platform for TA’s who are looking at disrupting the way people travel and providing the ultimate travel experience.