Luis Cabrera, the newest CEO of travel guidebook company Lonely Planet, plans to use its growing business in China as a way to test out new digital opportunities.
Cabrera was appointed in February, replacing former CEO Daniel Houghton, and has since focused on increasing Lonely Planet’s distribution platform beyond the company’s traditional print guidebook.
Lonely Planet’s biggest customer growth right now is in non-English speaking regions, especially China, Cabrera told Skift at the Travel Disruption Summit in New York Wednesday. As a result of this, the travel company is currently rethinking its strategy in the country, and plans to experiment with different digital opportunities there.
For example, Cabrera said, the company is interested in tapping into WeChat, the Chinese superapp with over a billion daily users, which offers messaging, photo sharing, payment and banking services, along with many other features.
“China provides us a perfect playground to start testing these things out,” Cabrera said.
The company will also experiment with shrinking the guide down, offering shorter, individualized resources for each guest.
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