Travel firms in Asia Pacific leverage data analytics to forecast demand
Travel companies in Asia Pacific with China in particular are embedding analytics into their organizations to forecast demand and increase revenues, according to a survey by Hotelbeds.
Hotelbeds has conducted an industry survey focused on data analytics at the recent MarketHub Asia event in Bangkok in which over 250 industry professionals from across Asia Pacific participated.
The participants revealed that:
* Over half the audience (57%) felt that data analytics will help to contribute annual increases of revenues of more than 30% over the next five years – with 19% expecting increases of over 60%.
* Nearly nine in ten (88%) of the respondents said their companies will increase budget for data analytics next year, with no companies reported a planned decrease – and 49% preparing for a ´significant´ increase.
* The biggest benefit they receive currently from data analytics is in forecasting demand (34%), followed by targeted marketing campaigns (24%) and revenue management (23%).
* Whilst the biggest challenge they face in the area of data analytics is attracting talent (34%), closely followed by a lack of clean data (33%). Only 9% cite a lack of technology partners as a problem.
“One of the biggest issues travel companies will face in the future will be getting the skilled people required to analyze and manage the ever-increasing amounts of data they are producing: a data-driven world requires data-driven employees,” said Sam Turner, Global Sales Director at Hotelbeds.
Gareth Matthews, Marketing and Communications Director at Hotelbeds Group, added: “These findings are particularly relevant for the Chinese market, already the world’s largest e-commerce market. China does not have legacy issues and can therefore leapfrog straight to advanced data analytics and smart technologies to track and anticipate consumer behavior, just look at the success of WeChat. The Chinese market is perhaps uniquely well-positioned to exploit this new wealth of data from a marketing perspective. It will be fascinating to see how this impacts the travel industry in the region over the coming 18 months.”
Additionally, the audience survey also explored other areas relating to the Asia Pacific travel market:
* 61% believed that personal recommendations or social media activity of influencers have the greatest impact on the booking choices of travelers in the region – with only 7% believing that previous experience of a destination is the top factor in picking a destination.
* The biggest concerns for Asia Pacific travelers when visiting Europe are firstly the threat of terrorism (32%), closely followed by visas (26%). Only 10% thought language barriers were an issue and only 2% thought the food an issue.
The MarketHub Asia event was attended by around 250 senior travel professionals from tour operator and OTA clients of Hotelbeds from across Asia Pacific. The theme of the event was Powered by data, driven by people.