Report from the China Distribution Summit – Day 2

Report from the China Distribution Summit – Day 2

Jami Timmons Speaks at China Distribution Summit

Jami Timmons presents “Using Big Data to Engage and Convert Consumers.”

More on Mobile Plus Industry Collaboration

It’s clear that the China travel market is changing – faster than expected. The emerging middle class and the proliferation of mobile phones is fueling dramatic change in the world’s largest travel market.

China’s online air travel bookings grew 50 percent in 2012, and hotel bookings grew 37 percent, according to PhocusWright.  They predict that by 2015, mobile bookings will grow from just a fraction of a percent to one-fifth of all travel bookings in China. Ctrip, a leading online travel channel, already reports that mobile bookings have surpassed its PC-based bookings.

In today’s interactive discussion, “Who Will Be the Next Challenger for China’s Online Travel Market?” a mix of established travel businesses and new entrants shared unique perspectives on their varying approaches to the market.  Top of mind across the board was the aggressive price competition that dominates online bookings and the issues around mobile’s shorter booking windows.

Consistent across the two days of presentations was the role of industry advancements and collaborations that have enabled change. Specifically, opening up of data silos to share information across providers and systems is now giving big data the power to deliver on its promise to the industry – to generate the optimal travel experience by providing deeper, more relevant understanding of the consumer.

Advancements in storage technology have enabled big data to come of age. In 1998, the cost to store 1TB of data/month would have been over $56,000/month.  If you kept building on that volume each month, annual storage costs would be over $4.3 million. Today the same storage capacity costs just over $4,000/year.  That cost change alone eliminates major barriers to big data implementation.

It’s been an exciting week.  Special thanks to the TravelDaily team and especially Charlie Li for the opportunity to be part of this year’s China Travel Distribution Summit. We’re excited about the China market’s potential and look forward to providing insights that will help it to continue to flourish.