Asia online travel trend 2017 from industry gurus

Japan inbound panel moderated by Kei Shibata

  1. Chinese outbound travel trend

Firstly, everyone agrees that this year is the year of China outbound. With more than 120 million yearly tourists and $160 billion in spending, no one can afford to ignore. Undoubtedly this is an obvious trend.

China will top the five top travel markets in the region for 2018 with US$164 billion, followed by Japan (US$99 billion), surprisingly (or not) China mobile market with US$54 billion, Southeast Asia $$47 billion with Northeast Asia taking the fifth place wih US$38 billion.

A market that is playing catch up with China in the mobile space is Indonesia, which is set for massive mobile intake. About 62% of travellers used mobile devices to book hotels on their last trip, said Maggie Rauch, Director of Research PhocusWright

More than 500 delegates will also learn of the innovations being introduced by non-travel companies such as Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten, India’s largest mobile wallet, Paytm and South-east Asia’s largest transportation disruptor, Grab, which has also moved into fintech with GrabPay and recently signed a partnership with Singapore Airlines.

“The walls are coming down and the lines are blurring as technology opens up the travel market to everyone who wants to capture a slice of it and Asia is setting the pace in mobile-led innovation,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder, WIT, emphasied on this travel trend.

Rail, said to be a $300b global market with Asia alone accounting for more than about $130b of that, and cruise, which is seeing major expansion in the region are also featured in the conference.

2. Mobile – Messaging – Payment

Oliver Heckmann, Vice President, Engineering for Travel and Shopping, Google, said, “Asia is ahead of many parts of the world when it comes to mobile, and that impacts everything from consumer expectations for faster, more seamless experiences to how we structure information in our products and how companies can assist travellers and improve the customer journey across screens and devices.”
And three important things he keeping an eye on: mobile, messaging, payment. With billions of search queries data, when Google talk, we cant ignore!

Chatbot is gaining popularity in many sectors including hotels for booking and other services.

On what tech they are watching ICON’s Hatter said “Duetto” (Cloud-based hotel revenue management software and revenue strategy solutions), both Onyx’s Pascoe and Wharf Hotels’ Schaetz went for AI, while Sabre Hospitality Solutions

3. Video influence

Youtubers are also savvy travelers: The video platform, he said, has seen queries on travel grow 16% year-on-year. About 65% of those queries are destination specific. There are 1.1 billion to 1.3 billion video users in Asia Pacific.
“Consumers are leaning into these platforms and really asking the platforms where they should be going, what does the destination look like?,” he said.

* They travel and spend 75% more that the average traveller.
* More than 75% own a credit or debit card, making online bookings and payments easier.
* They take twice as many international trips.
* They are thrice as likely to research on trips when they get their bonuses.
* They are twice as likely to book a trip when there is a price promotion.
* They are twice as interested in shopping and adventure travel.
* They are 2.5 times more likely to be triggered by online advertisements.
* While researching a holiday, they watch 5 travel videos per week around their destination.

In a nutshell, here are the keywords you want to remember about 2017 trending: mobile, chatbot/AI, China, Indonesia, payment, rail, cruise, video, tools.

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