The travel industry has continuously addressed the challenges of distribution with innovation, tech and consumer data and with those tools, its methods are becoming more efficient, though consumer behaviors are constantly evolving.
Panel moderator Joe Xu, Senior Vice President of Super 8 China talks to an executive roundtable of distribution experts and veterans at the 2016 TravelDaily Conference, to get a better sense of the latest in distribution trends today.
On the panel are Hao Jiang, CEO of eLong; Rodney Bao, Vice Chairman & CEO of Jinjiang Travel; Morton Huang, Founder & CEO of Yiqifei.com; Todd Arthur, Vice President of Sales and Market Development for Sabre Travel Network APAC; and Qi Jiang, Co-Founder of research company, TalkingData.
To first determine the trends in travel distribution, it is essential to look at changes in consumer needs and their booking behavior. It’s difficult to determine specific needs, according to eLong’s Hao Jiang. “For clients it’s very difficult to suggest one decision making model for travel since its very diversified,” he says. “There isn’t a one size fits all solution.”
“At Sabre, we’re thinking about how innovation is changing the travel experience,” says Arthur. “It’s an experience around what the traveler wants, which data and tech bring together. Not only do we improve distribution, but we bring data back to the clients we’re servicing, which will bring value.
People are looking for a more personalized experience, and the distribution part is taking that data and improving the travelers’ experience,” he says.
CEO of Jinjiang Travel, Bao sums it up in one word: customization. The large mass travel tour groups are happening less as more travelers prefer to travel on their own schedules and with their own agendas.
For a smaller company like Yiqifei.com, it’s more about their direct relationship to the travel destinations and consumers that is customized.