1. May Day is a Time for Play
Most countries in Asia-Pacific have the May 1st holiday off, which resulted in a four day weekend. Many Chinese travelled domestically, with the CNTA reporting that 147 domestic travelers spent 87.1 billion RMB (about $13Billion USD) during the weekend. This represented a growth of 10.2% over last year. When traveling in China, the most popular types of tours are: city tours, countryside tours eco-tours, culture, education themed tours.
Destinations shouldn’t forget to market to Chinese travelers for short holidays, like the May Day long weekend. Research shows that for a weekend, most travellers are willing to fly up to five hours away.
2. One Belt One Road Coming to South America
One Belt, One Road is a development strategy based on the Silk Road. The plan is to link all of Eurasia through a land route and a maritime route. These linkages create opportunities for tourism (among many other things). Interestingly, the Chinese government is making deals with countries around the world to participate in OBOR too. On April 18th, the front page of Peru’s national paper, El Peruano, featured coverage of a forum held at the Chinese Embassy in Peru on the One Belt, One Road Initiative. The plan is to export the strategy, and create linkages in South America.
Sources: El Peruano 21/4/2018
3. More Action for Second Tiered Cities
Last week we mentioned how departures from T2 cities in China are on the rise. We see many destinations actively courting travelers from these regions. This week, PromPeru held a Peru Travel Promotion Fair in Tianjin, Jinan, and Huhehaote (capital of Inner Mongolia). In 2016, Peru received 25,648 arrivals from China. However, the market is valuable: they stay on average 8 nights and spent USD$2509 per person. PromPeru obviously sees a potential in the Chinese Market.
Source: Beijing Across Latin America Business Co Ltd.
4. ChatBots are the New Travel Concierge
A few innovative companies in China are creating deep databases and designing chatbots to create itineraries for travelers, effectively erasing the need for travel planners or concierges. One such company is TravelFlan, based in Hong Kong. TravelFlan uses AI to help travelers create bespoke itineraries.
Suppliers, like hotels and accommodations will need to find a way to partner with companies like TravelFlan as these technologies become more widespread.
5. Apps are the New Tour Guides
If travelers can use a Chatbot to plan and book a vacation, you can bet they are using something similar once they are in the destination. Millennials in particular use a wide variety of apps in destination. One that has caught our eye is aiPlants, which has been developed with the support of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Botany. It can help nature travelers identify over 10,000 common plants from photos.
Source: China Daily 20.04.18
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