The tech effect

Technology in the hands of travellers… and in distribution

Joseph Wang, Chief Commercial Officer – TravelDaily China – will be hosting two key sessions at the ITB China conference this year – one, at 4:05pm on 15 May on Connecting Destinations with Chinese Travellers by Leveraging New Digital Tools, and the other, at 11am on 16 May, on How Technology Innovations Will Impact the Way Travel Products are Distributed and Purchased. We asked him why these topics are so vital today.

China is now the largest source market for global travel and tourism industry, and technological innovations are redefining the way travel products are distributed and purchased. Travel behaviour of Chinese travellers today, especially millennials, has been changing with the technology evolution. Mobile, APP, wireless payment, Big Data, AI etc. and emerging new social media platforms like WeChat, UGC, short video APP and live streaming sites are also impacting the travel behaviour of Chinese millennials. Travel companies should try to satisfy this changing demand through personalisation, for example, in terms of product development and brand communication. From the industry backend perspective, the efficiency of marketing, operations, training, channel distribution management especially supply chain need to be improved, and technology can help to find a way out of the dilemma.

THE RIGHT PRODUCT SHOULD BE DELIVERED TO THE RIGHT AUDIENCE THROUGH RIGHT CHANNELS AT THE RIGHT TIME AND TO AVOID ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL

In the past, you worked on direct sales in the hotel business. How have you seen sales channels evolving in the past years, and what will people coming to your sessions learn?

After years of consolidations, OTA has become a highly concentrated landscape especially from the traffic perspective. In the future, big hotel chains are getting even bigger and will also reach a very high concentration landscape globally and regionally through continuous mergers. Under this situation, we see the blurring boundaries between direct sales and channels so one of the biggest challenges today to the traditional hotel sales channels will be the lack of traffic sources, lack of the abilities of collecting, storing, cleaning, analysing, identifying customer data and tagging, the lack of abilities to differentiate channels and to connect with all potential partners agilely and cost effectively. In terms of marketing and channel strategies, hotels should re-design their product and sales with an integrated online and offline presence, a more relevant content with higher level of context aware, relevancy and personalisation, to refine their offering to the loyalty members in order to differentiate themselves in the crowd and to be adapted by different age groups of the members especially the Millennials leveraging todays’ digital tools.

“The right product should be delivered to the right audience through right channels at the right time and to avoid one-size- ts-all.” as someone famous said.

How important is ITB China as a platform to move these ideas forward?

ITB China surely is the most important travel and hotel industry event bringing in-depth and good insights and social networking with an East-Meets-West style opportunities together.

Joseph Wang joined TravelDaily.cn as the Chief Commercial Officer in Sept, 2014. Prior to that, he was the Senior Director of Hotel Business Unit Qunar.com from 2009, focusing on Hotel Direct Sales. He used to work for China Mobile 12580 as the Director of Hotel Business, focusing on hotel supplier partnership management and customer service. From 1999 to 2007, Mr. Joseph Wang worked at eLong.com, in charge of hotel market management. Mr. Joseph Wang was invited by several universities as visiting professor and tutor, also invited by Chinese Tourism Hotel Association, China Meetings Industry Alliance and several other industry organizations as VIP speaker.


Photo: Joseph Wang, Chief Commercial Officer, TravelDaily China