Some interesting facts were revealed at the three-day¬†forum in Macao,¬†the first time China has hosted a “mega international tourism¬†forum,” and more items in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion on 12 September.
Global travel conference in China
The Global¬†Tourism¬†Economy¬†Forum¬†(GTEF)¬†held¬†in¬†Macao 9-11 September drew 1,000 industry professionals from across the globe.
Some key takeways, based on press accounts, including China Daily:
Google’s John¬†Liu, head of Greater¬†China¬†at¬†Google¬†noted that travelers do make an average of 55¬†online¬†searches¬†before booking a trip. Half of these travelers base their ultimate decision on the advice of people they know and trust.
Brendan¬†Jacobson,¬†Global¬†Head¬†of¬†Sales¬†at Google-owned Zagat Survey, confirmed that Zagat planned¬†to post user-generated¬†reviews¬†of every tourist¬†destination in the world via Google.
CEO¬†Fan¬†Mi of¬†China’s leading OTA ¬†Ctrip.com,¬†said his company aimed to become a more complete online travel platform, which may mean hiring more employees to answer customer queries. He sees Expedia and Travelocity as his main competitors.
A couple of weeks ago, CTrip.com partnered with Priceline-owned Booking.com to provide an overseas hotel reservation platform for domestic consumers.
Anthony¬†Dorment,¬†global¬†strategy¬†&¬†sales¬†projects director¬†of Lonely Planet (owned by BBC Worldwide) said the company has ended its¬†its licensing¬†agreement¬†with¬†one mainland company and will announce a new¬†partner¬†shortly. It may give away free content in a way to build market share, Dorment said.
WeHostels (formerly InBed.me) goes mobile-only
So the company developed an iPhone app… and then killed its PC version to go all mobile, as TC reported yesterday.
Australia gets a hotel haggling website
After a two month launch delay, online auction service,¬†GraysOnline¬†has unveiled¬†GraysEscape¬†as its new offer-based hotel reservation website. The site replaces¬†Ubid4rooms, a website purchased by GraysOnline earlier this year.¬†
Users of GraysEscape can make an offer to a hotel, with the hotelier accepting or bargaining with the customer for another rate within three hours.
Concur offers an integrated solution via NetSuite
Concur¬†said yesterday that it now offers its services to customers of another cloud-based company,¬†NetSuite, making¬†travel and expense¬†spend data comprehensible through NetSuite‚Äôs Accounts Payable system.
British travelers still eager to vacation on cruise ships
Travelzoo surveyed 1,865 UK-based Travelzoo subscribers and found that¬†96% of those considering a cruise have not been put off by the Costa Concordia tragedy.
NB: Image courtesy¬†GTEF.