Impact of expatriates on travel
With a high number of expats living in the Gulf, travel is part of many residents’ lives as people commute regularly between their home countries and where they live and work. As the global macro environment changes, the travel industry must also continuously evolve by adopting new technologies, meeting the growing desire for sustainability and accommodating the ever-shifting priorities of travelers.
Traveller Tribes 2033 is a global research study commissioned by travel technology leader Amadeus to help travel sellers and providers look into the future and see how people in the UAE will travel in the coming years. Northstar Research Partners conducted an online published earlier this year including the views of 756 UAE travelers who are likely to travel internationally in the next three years and have traveled internationally at least once in the last year.
The research examined the future trends transforming travel, alongside emerging traveler traits, behaviors and preferences. It determined four emerging traveler tribes, including Travel Tech-fluencers, Memory Makers, Excited Experientialists and Pioneering Pathfinders. The Travel Tech-fluencers have high expectations that travel should leverage technology for smoother and better connected experiences. They are early adopters of modern technology that can improve their journey. On the other hand, Memory Makers travel to make memories and meet new people and places. They like to curate memorable vacation experiences, but are less enthusiastic about new technology, preferring to use what they know and trust. As for the Excited Experientialists, they are open to trying anything for the first time. With mid- to high-income levels and few commitments, they are well positioned to explore the world. They also hate planning every aspect of their journey because they enjoy the thrill of discovery and serendipity that travel provides. Finally, Pioneering Pathfinders are both interested in the social aspect of travel and seek technology. They enjoy above-average incomes, which lets them live a progressive, fast-paced life. They are always looking for their next big adventure and are interested in sustainable travel.
The UAE travelers
The survey conducted in the UAE showed that the population is a mix of 34 percent Memory Makers, 33 percent Pioneering Pathfinders, 19 percent Excited Experientialists and 14 percent Travel Tech-fluencers. When asked to select their top preferences, travelers in the UAE revealed that they prioritize making memories and choosing interesting places to visit, followed by value for money.
The top five things that they are most excited about experiencing in 2033, are: traveling faster to destinations (43 percent), having more diversified payment methods which will make trips more affordable (43 percent), smoothly and efficiently planning trips thanks to the assistance of artificial intelligence (37 percent), using technology to reduce problems such as disruption during trips (35 percent) and having the chance to travel in a more environmentally friendly manner (34 percent).
The technologies which will interest UAE travelers the most in 2033 are: being able to pay for trips with cryptocurrency, using virtual reality, harnessing data to create more tailored and relevant trip recommendations and biometric data to enable quick access through airports and passport control, using super apps that have everything needed to well plan a trip and using facial recognition to optimize the transit experience.
The top five concerns that UAE travelers will have in 2033 include: increase in cybersecurity attacks (45 percent) which will impact how safe they feel about sharing their personal data (45 percent), political instability which impacts travel access to some destinations (37 percent) and cost of traveling which they predict to become more expensive if they want it to do it an environmentally conscious manner (35 percent). Only 32 percent were worried that travel in 2033 will be unaffordable.
managing director of Amadeus Gulf