The Expedia group, one of the world’s largest online travel companies, has reported that demand for Australian hotels from Asian travellers increased by nearly 60% in the third quarter of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014.
The highest increase from Asia came from the key source markets of Hong Kong (up by over 90% year-on-year), Malaysia (90%) and China (80%).
The figures also revealed that Asian travellers stayed approximately 1.9 nights per hotel booked and booked their stays on average 20.5 days in advance of their arrival.
Expedia’s latest figures also show that there has been a sizeable increase in hotel stays by Asian travellers, with the highest increase in the third quarter of 2015 in the Whitsundays (100%), followed by Darwin (90%) and Canberra (80%). This compares much higher than growth rates in key cities such as Sydney (65%), Melbourne and the Gold Coast which hovered around 50%.
These figures are consistent with the widely reported growth in Asian inbound travel to Australia. The data also revealed that Asian demand increased rapidly throughout Q1 – Q3 2015, with year-on-year growth in each quarter 50% or more.
Drew Bowering, director, Market Management, Australia of the Expedia group, said, “Our data confirms that inbound Asian travellers continue to be an increasingly important source of demand for Australian hotels. Expedia offers tools that enable hoteliers to target specific bookings and traveller sources.”
On a global level, Asia Pacific was the fastest growing region in terms of mobile bookings for Australian hotels throughout Q1 to Q3, recording growth of almost 200% YOY in the third quarter of last year. The largest increase in mobile bookings was from Singapore (270%), Japan (260%) and Hong Kong (190%).
“Mobile is a hot topic in our industry. It will continue to impact the way consumers plan and purchase travel. It is logical to assume that as more people access internet via their mobile phones, more people will use them for shopping and purchasing travel. This is especially true for Asian travellers, many of whom are starting to travel overseas for the first time and are booking on mobile devices.”
As of September 2015, Expedia had spent US$750mil in technology, investing heavily in enhancing their relationship with hotel partners through Expedia group’s hotel-facing tool, Expedia Partner Central (EPC). The EPC mobile app was launched in Australia last year. In addition to tools and technology, the company recognises that the travel industry is about personal relationships and has invested in Australia – increasing their market management team by around 50% year-on-year.
Expedia’s Technology Innovations
In 2015, the Expedia group also launched Real-Time Feedback and Sell Tonight, powerful new tools for hoteliers and travellers alike, both available through the Expedia Partner Central.
Real-time Feedback was designed to help hoteliers improve the stay experience of mobile-savvy travellers. As a result, Expedia has seen a material improvement in review scores from hoteliers that engage with the tool.
Shortly after a guest checks into an Expedia-booked hotel, they receive an email asking them three short questions about their check in, the room and the accommodation. Responding to the questions through a fun, intuitive interface, guests also have the opportunity to enter a specific feedback, which is transmitted in real-time to the hotelier, giving him the opportunity to act upon the feedback and avoid a potentially negative trip review.
Sell Tonight makes it faster and simpler for hoteliers to push out same day rates and offer availability to spontaneous travellers, with the option to provide these special rates to mobile travellers, specifically. Sell Tonight, indeed, informs hotels in real-time of same day rates in their market, providing them with the details they need to better compete and increase same day bookings.