You might have read my previous blogs about the key travel trends making an impact on Asia Pacific – The Me Effect and The Red Tape Effect – but today I’d like to tell you about another fascinating trend that will fundamentally change the travel landscape as we know it – The Leapfrog Effect.
Asia Pacific is already ‘leapfrogging’ traditional behaviours with the adoption of newer technologies and infrastructure, giving travellers new ways to manage the travel experience. This doesn’t mean we are all jumping everywhere in APAC, no, it means we are leveraging technology which is triggering a new way of doing things and it means that travel providers have huge opportunities as a result.
Let me give you an example. Widespread use of mobile devices is changing the way travellers behave – using their mobile to research and make travel arrangements, often at very short notice, gives them much greater flexibility but also creates less predictability for travel providers unless they ride this curve along with their travellers.
Then there’s social media. It’s no secret that social media is changing the way people interact, and it’s affecting travel. Our research shows that people gather information about their travels before they make a purchase through social media, and it’s also impacting the way they make bookings and transact with travel providers.
Indeed, just under one third of travellers now use social media during their travel, with Indian and Indonesian travellers being particularly avid users – partly reflecting the generally younger age profile of travellers from these countries. Over half of Indonesian travellers frequently use social media during their trip, uploading photos and keeping their contacts informed. That said and interestingly, 61% of Indonesian travellers mention that getting the advice of friends and contacts is the main reason that they use social media during travel.
By 2030 we see that social media usage will have become a critically important aspect of the overall travel experience.
With social media forming an increasingly important part of the travel experience, travel providers will need to adopt this phenomenon into the way that they interact with their customers, using the channel both to transact and to interact. Travel providers should embrace social media for them to have new ways to interact with their customers, and to enhance the value and perceptions of their brands.
While these trends will not destroy the established travel service providers, they will force changes in the way they interact with their customers. Asia Pacific is truly leapfrogging and how…
For a more in-depth explanation of this emerging travel effect and much more – download our free white paper Shaping the future of travel in Asia Pacific – which is also available specifically for Australia, China, India, and Japan.