Report from the China Distribution Summit – Day 1

Report from the China Distribution Summit – Day 1

China Travel Distribution Summit

Focus on Consumer Analytics and Mobile

We landed in Guangzhou yesterday for what is proving to be an exciting and informative conference already!  Key themes for the China market are not unlike what the rest of the world is facing.  Today the messages focused on (1) understanding the travel customer and (2) the increasing impact of mobile.

This morning Ctrip announced that it has become the first OTA in the world to have mobile bookings surpass web-based bookings.  Its numbers for July and August beat out earlier PhocusWright estimates that forecasted that transition in 12-24 months.  (Read a great article on this by Yeoh Siew Hoon in Web In Travel. )

And HotelClub talked about the importance of nurturing and building customer relationships.  After focusing on big data analytics and its guest behavior, they were able to determine the lifetime value of a customer.  It goes a long way in driving marketing activity and loyalty programs.

Online search is giving strong indicators of travel trends for this part of the world with China being a top destination.  According to nSight data for the month of July, China represented 27.7% of destination searches for the APAC region, compared to 21.1% for Japan, 18.3% for Thailand and 9.6% for Australia.  The top three source markets searching for APAC travel were Singapore (15.1%), Republic of Korea (11.0%) and Australia (8%).

Excited to share these insights and more on how travel intent can help the world’s largest travel market engage and convert consumers in my keynote speech tomorrow.