In our regular Shiji Buzz conversations, we explore various hot topics in hospitality technology with a panel of diverse experts from across the industry. In our most recent Buzz chat, we traveled to Asia-Pacific, joined by Shiji’s own Matthew Clark, APAC Sales Manager, and Patricia Brennan, VP, Strategic Accounts, Shiji Distribution Solutions, as well as Nicholas van Brenda, Director, Global Sales Distribution for Shangri-La International Hotel Management Limited, Gavin Maloney, Director of Sales & Marketing/ Distribution and Leisure, Shangri-La Group, and Duncan Waterman, Country Manager, Australia & New Zealand for D-Edge Hospitality Solutions.
With this veritable expert panel, we dove right into today’s most relevant topics in hospitality tech, from growing markets to watch to modern advertising best practices, and industry trends across.
Now, let’s dive in.
Is China Still Leading Travel in APAC?
Pre-pandemic, China was arguably the leader in APAC regional tourism, but are they still?
As Shiji Distribution Solutions’ VP of Strategic Accounts, Patricia Brennan has plenty of knowledge to answer this question. She observed, “Although we do have a lot of international travel, what we’re seeing is that the number of bookings within China has almost doubled what was booked in 2019. So that’s all now domestic. I think that as soon as borders reopen, Chinese travel will come back.”
Fortunately, signs point to Chinese travel bounding back as soon as travel restrictions loosen. What’s more, we don’t need to put all our eggs in one basket, so to speak, either.
Other Markets to Watch
China isn’t the only player expected to heat up in post-pandemic travel in APAC. As Duncan Waterman, D-Edge Hospitality Solutions’ Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand, noted, “Some of the emerging channels that are springing up in Indonesia, we’ve taken note of. Hotels will maximize their exposure through large OTAs [there] that will produce a billboard effect [in terms of exposure].” At the same time, ad spend remains concentrated in places like Google, so budgeting accordingly is recommended for hotels. “Google is really the place where bookings are won and lost,” says Waterman. “And so that’s what we’re seeing that a lot of [advertising] spend going to. So that’s really what hotels can maximize on right now.”
Travel Restrictions Continue?
While we’re not out of the woods yet in terms of safe post-pandemic travel, the consensus both in APAC and globally is starting to form around what countries will need to require to allow foreign guests entry. Patricia Brennan noted, “People need to feel confident that when they go to a country, there have been vaccinations. But also, in order to enter a country, there will need to be proof that you have been vaccinated, and therefore, the only way to do that is to have some sort of a vaccine passport.” A double-sided approach to ensuring safe entry and safe environments for tourists will be crucial to encouraging visits post-pandemic.
Changes in Booking Patterns and Behavior
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