Key Trends to Heed in 'Next Generation' of Travel in APAC
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Tuesday, 18th June 2024

As we enter the next generation of travel in Asia Pacific, here are the key trends to watch – from the revolution in B2B, to transformation of the human-machine interface and changing demographics with all the inherent changes in customer behaviour to come.

It’s a summary of the thoughts and ideas I have collected across the various events I’ve hosted or attended in the first half of the year. Call it a connecting of the dots as we enter the second half of 2024, and as we prepare to convene this October 14-16 at WiT Singapore, where we will usher in “The Next Generation”.

The Revolution in B2B: Now Everyone Can Sell Travel

Anticipate a revolution in B2B travel technology, aiming to address 85% of the super fragmented market in Asia, with the giant OTAs leading the charge. “You still have a full 85% of the market that’s out there super fragmented, and that’s really what that B2B space can help you to address,” said Michael Dykes, vice president, market management, Asia Pacific of Expedia Group, speaking at WiT Japan & North Asia.

Expect lots of partnerships between travel tech companies and other brands, travel and non-travel, as the move to power everyone to sell travel gains momentum.

Last week, Expedia announced its partnership with Cathay Pacific to power Cathay Holidays with a new booking site, initially available in Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. Customers can explore 900,000 properties and 200,000 travel activities in 250,000 destinations worldwide.

Hopper also announced a partnership with South Korea’s major credit card issuer, Lotte Card, to develop a travel loyalty portal for its 9.35m cardholders, as well as 3.13m affiliated merchants. This new feature, integrated into the ‘Digi-LOCA’ app, will offer services such as flights, accommodations, and car rentals.

Timothy Hughes: “We’re in an age now where we’re almost a step away from everyone being able to be a travel company because the technology that’s available in the B2B space is extraordinary.”

This observation was also made by Timothy Hughes, vice president of corporate development, Agoda in another panel at WiT Japan & North Asia. Calling it “the democratisation of travel”, he said that advancements in B2B travel technology, including full-stack white-label API technology and affiliate platforms, are enabling virtually anyone to become a travel company and leverage cutting-edge technology to offer innovative services.

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