Destinations

What today’s consumers are lusting for

Sophie Harrison

A study released by Sabre Corporation, in collaboration with Trend Watching, has revealed how a series of quirky ‘behavioural’ trends emerging amongst Asia-Pacific consumers are presenting new opportunities for hotels in 2017.

The three trends identified by the study are Betterment, Local Love and Infolust.

In short, these trends translate to a growing consumer desire for self-improvement, taking pride in locality, and the appetite for timely, relevant and actionable information exchange. Yes, that basic human need, ‘Infolust.’

And in combining the three, Sabre suggests what better way to inform purchase decisions and solicit more personalised services for travelers!

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“Competition amongst hotels is high in many Asia Pacific markets, despite a positive outlook into 2017 and beyond,” noted Sarah Kennedy-Ellis, VP of marketing and strategic development for Sabre Hospitality Solutions.

“Rapid disruption in the range of accommodation options available and an evolution in consumer preferences is putting hotels under pressure to keep innovating. One key way to maintain an edge in a fiercely competitive industry is to identify emerging consumer behaviours that present new opportunities to differentiate the travel ‘experience’,” Kennedy-Ellis said.

Although Asia Pacific economies span the entire development spectrum, the desire for self-improvement – living more healthily, recycling more, ‘doing good,’ – extends across the region. For consumers, the list of self-improvement goals is long. In fact, travel brands are already jumping on the bandwagon!

In 2016, Qantas launched a health insurance and wellness program, Qantas Assure, which rewards Qantas Frequent Flyers who take out a Qantas Assure health insurance policy for being active.

Using the Qantas Assure App they count their steps to earn Qantas Points that can be redeemed on flights and thousands of other rewards from hotel stays to products from the Qantas Store.

And as the global centre of economic and cultural gravity is shifting, it begs the question, what about local love? Did you know, ‘Global Brand’ successes are now being driven from Asia not into Asia, such as Alibaba and Samsung. With this evolution, consumer mind-sets towards ‘local’ are also changing.

A rising body of Asian consumers are taking more pride in locality, embracing local products and offerings and reinventing the celebration of tradition and culture. The hospitality industry is uniquely positioned to benefit, as hotels can tap into finding truly local, authentic – ‘do better’ – experiences. 

And finally, to satisfy guests’ ‘Infolust’, hotels should look at harnessing messaging apps to share travel information and offer personalised services. We only have to look at the amount paid for WhatsApp, the value wrapped up in WeChat, to know that messaging is going to be a big part of the service infrastructure.

And as a more relevant, personalised service, it is a two-way conversation hoteliers are seeking.

 

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