The Asia Pacific luxury traveller and social media - 53% of all luxury travel reviews between 2012-14. Wednesday, 18th June 2014 Source : Brand Karma & ILTM Asia 2014
'Crouching tiger, hidden dragon' No More! Say HI to the new Asia Pacific luxury traveller:
More active on social media than any other region, luxury travellers in APAC are using social media to research and share their travel experiences at an unprecedented growth rate. In fact, they posted 53% of all luxury travel reviews written between 2012 and 2014.
With enormous populations and extremely active social media ecosystems, China (623 million users averaging 1.5 hours per day), India (90 million users averaging 2.4 hours per day), Indonesia (62 million users averaging 2.9 hours per day), and the Philippines (34 million users averaging 4.0 hours per day) have increased the velocity with which luxury brand messages move across APAC1.
While this can be an asset or a liability to a luxury travel brand, messages now move at the speed of light, and brands should embrace this.
Asian luxury hotel brands lead the way in social commerce
Making money from social media is elusive to most travel brands. While most now use social for growing brand awareness and fan acquisition, few have figured out how to monetise it directly.
However, there are pockets of genius in Asia amongst luxury travel brands. Hotel groups are using Facebook creatively to drive impressive numbers in direct bookings.
Given that online reviews and social networks are forming an increasingly meaningful element of the travel experience for travellers in the Asia-Pacific region, marketers and travel providers will need to integrate this trend into their marketing spend and customer interaction techniques.
By creating targeted social media ad campaigns based on key demographics and preferences, luxury brands can drive profit through the increased use of social media.
China continues down its own path
While there were rumours in late 2013 that citizens within the Shanghai Free Trade Zone would be allowed to access Facebook from inside Mainland China, nothing transpired and China continues to block access to major international social networks.
Locally run sites including Sina Weibo, WeChat, and YouKu continue to prosper, with some local sites expanding internationally. Mainland China boasts the largest population globally and also has become a leading uxury destination within Asia, as evidenced by a 53% growth in luxury traveller reviews.
While longstanding luxury hotspots like Shanghai or Beijing are still attracting travellers, destinations such as Zhenjiang, Chongqing, and Sanya are receiving more attention, as indicated by sharp increases in luxury social postings.
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