November 8 2015: Research forecasts that Asia’s online travel market is booming -- due largely to increasing volume of flights, hotels and packages, booked online.
With such growth at stake, and with big investments from hotels, airlines, technology providers, app developers, venture capitalists all vying for a piece of this market, the question is who is really shaping this industry?
Eye forTravel did a quick survey, recently, to look at what impacts online marketing, social media, digital strategies and smart phones are having on the travel landscape in APAC.
How are travel brands entering Asia and using technology to position themselves and engage with the local audience?Here is what the survey found:
The majority of respondents came from hotels with (32%) followed by software providers, destinations and OTAs.\
What is the main barrier or challenge for brands expanding in Asia? Llocal competition (43.2%) topped the list followed by arket fragmentation (39.2%). Language and cultural differences was third with the need to localise services rounding up the top 4. Legal hurdles, business models didn’t seem to feature as pertinent issues in the short term.
What are the the reasons for having a mobile strategy? Better customer engagement (74.3%) and engagement of the traveller (73%) were clear reasons for companies having a mobile presence. To reiterate the importance of catering to the connected traveller, creating services for the smart traveller came in third with (56.8%). Other reasons were to stay ahead of the competition, data analytics, brand awareness,value added services and ancillary sales.
What are considered important marketing and media tools ( rating them on a scale from 1-10): Social media networks (4.24) and SEO (Search engine optimisation) (4.23) led that list with PR and data driven marketing following them (4.18). Print marketing was the least picked with (3.03) showing a clear shift to an online driven market.
Results show that Online marketing was being used extensively by 75.7% of the group, with online sales (56.8%) and Online Distribution(51.4%) following on. 12.2% said that they perform none of these online activities.
What percentage of their business’s revenue was from online tools? The majority - 31.1% said that over 25 percent of their revenue was generated online, but there were companies that had less that 5 percent of their revenue coming from their online presence.
Respondents were asked: what areas would you benefit knowing more about? 69.4% wanted more information on social media strategies and 68.1% on data analytics. Mobile optimisation, SEO, content generation covered the top 5.Print marketing made up the rear with only 5% interested in learning more about the opportunities.
And who are perceived to be the leading travel brands in Asia. We had a clear winner with Expedia followed by Trip Advisor, Booking.com, C Trip, Make My Trip and Agoda.
The Survey is a curtain raiser to Eye of Travel's Smart Traveller: Digital Strategies in Asia event in Hong Kong, January 26-27 2016