ITB 2023 Special Reporting
Meet the APAC Traveller: Constantly Connected, Highly Social.
By Web in Travel
Saturday, 9th November 2013
Two pieces of research launched at the Web In Travel conference reveal that travellers in Asia are not only constantly connected but also highly social in how they share and what they share on their travels.
Google's research across 11 Asia Pacific countries, covering 11,000 interviews and conducted in July, showed that 83% use online to plan hotel stays while 28% use only online to plan stays.
4Hoteliers Image LibrarySaid Bambos Kaisharis, Head of Travel, South-east Asia (pictured right), who delivered the findings at the conference, "This APAC traveller sees the web as fundamental to their hotel staying habits.
"Whilst we've known for some time that online is a great platform for taking bookings (50% of APAC travellers now book hotels online) but we now seen that this new traveller uses the internet at every stage of the their trip. In fact, we'd go so far as to say he is constantly connected."
Their research also showed that travellers want it simple – APAC travellers use on average four different sources of information when planning their next hotel stay – and emerging market travelers use more (up to five in Indonesia). Fourteen percent say they are overwhelmed by information.
Travellers also want it personal - more than a quarter of APAC travellers say that they are put off form booking hotels online because they can't get personal consultancy – 26% cited this worry.
62% consider being recognized as a returning customer very important, while 71% consider personal recommendation very important in making hotel choice.
Given these preferences, Kaisharis urged hoteliers to tailor marketing efforts to individual users and to surface content that customers value, and that is personal to them.
Mobile came in with a strong showing with 39% having used a mobile to play their stay – 49% in emerging markets – and 59% saying they want freedom to book wherever, whenever. Travel mobile queries are rising more than 160% YOY in APAC, according to Kaisharis.
But there are challenges facing mobile – 42% think it's easier to book on a PC, 21% don't trust mobile payments and 19% said mobile connection was too slow.
"What does this mean for your business? One, get a good mobile site. Mobile is no longer optional, it's a necessity. Poor usability is the biggest barrier to booking via mobile. And yet when you get it right, the rewards could be huge. CTrip makes more money on mobile bookings than desktop – 40% of all hotel booking revenue, making it the biggest single channel for them."

Read the full story HERE.
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