The APAC market is the strongest growing travel market in the world. By 2030 Asia will be the leading source markets for all regions of the world in terms of departures, but also travel expenditures. This represents a big opportunity for the tourism sector, but at the same time it comes with unique challenges. For travel businesses and destinations alike it is critical to identify the major trends that will drive growth in this striving market (Tnooz).
PEER-TO-PEER VACATION RENTALS
Currently the accommodation market is dominated by major online travel agencies and metasearch engines. However, since last year the online tourism domain witnessed a significant growth in peer-to-peer vacation rentals. The likes of AirBnb or HomeAway are only in their infancy, and have the potential to seriously disrupt accommodation market places around the world. Currently, OTAs and Metasearch have brought almost full transparency to the hotel market, but the market for vacation rentals and holiday villas remains non-transparent, consisting of a set of fragmented websites and portals. But this is likely to change soon. As we have reported only recently, first metasearch services for vacation rentals and hotel rooms are being established.
MOBILE AS THE GATEWAY TO ASIA
Mobile is the key to succeeding in APAC, as a third of the population is already connected to mobile broadband, and numbers will be growing at a vast rate over the next decade. Asian consumers are above averagely technology savvy and studies confirm the relatively low hesitation of APAC consumers towards mobile payments. In addition, mobiles are driving the growth of technology adoption, as many consumers buy mobiles and tablets as their first technology devices, thereby leapfrogging desktop PCs.
GEO-TARGETING OF CONTENT
Currently, the online travel market is dominated by “western” players. In order to succeed, both travel brands and destinations, need to geo-target their content and websites. Asian consumers not only have different travel patterns, but also seek different user interfaces, content and online experiences. To cater for the specific needs of Asian consumers, travel businesses need to account for the cultural differences in consumer and online behaviour.
While succeeding on the Asian market requires elevated efforts and comes with a set of unique challenges, the sheer size of the market, both in terms of tourists and travel spendings, makes it a worthwhile opportunity.
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