TRAVEL companies would do well to create an overarching data strategy, instead of merely focusing on mobile.
This was one takeaway from the morning sessions at Web In Travel conference yesterday, taking place as part of Travelrave Singapore.
Asia-Pacific is the global leader when it comes to mobile bookings with over 20 per cent, according to Criteo’s Travel Flash Report for 1H2014.
Turochas Fuad, co-founder & CEO of vacation rentals site Travelmob, which currently has a mobile-optimised website and an iPhone app, backed this observation. “About 45 per cent of our web traffic and 25 per cent of transactions are coming from mobile,” he said.
Likewise, Booking.com’s mobile business is nothing short of impressive – growing from a US$1 billion business in 2011, to US$3 billion in 2012, and US$8 billion in 2013, said Gillian Tans, COO, Booking.com.
However, when asked about Expedia Worldwide’s mobile approach in Asia, John Kim, chief product officer, said: “We don’t talk about mobile, we talk about data. The platform we are building is a data platform and we have been able to syndicate that all across the world no matter what the device. The mobile device provides contact and data that may be otherwise lost on the desktop experience.”
This same data strategy can eventually be extended to wearables to harvest the same information, he added.
Timothy Hughes, vice president marketing, Agoda, shared that his proudest achievement in the last one year is making non-desktop devices “the core of Agoda’s business”.
“It’s not about having a mobile strategy and if you have a mobile strategy, you’ve already missed the boat. It’s about making non-desktop devices the core of your business and building the rest around it,” he explained, adding that the move has altered the way Agoda approaches contracting and marketing.
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