APAC travellers want access to agents during the trip

A report from Sabre‘s APAC team reveals the need for online and offline agents to connect with travellers during the trip.

The study, which covers eleven countries across the region, identifies four types and is the latest to look at travellers in terms of what they want from their travel experience rather than by age or geography.

Some topline findings informing the study are that, across the region, 58% of travellers like to be in control of their trip while 42% like to be taken care of.

At the same time, 56% travel to build their individuality and life experiences while 44% travel to gain life experiences they can share with others.

This leads into four recognisable and self-explanatory types of traveller – “explorers”, “opportunists”, “followers” and “connectors” – with Sabre and its research partner The Futures Company confident these groups are relevant across the region.

Sabre APAC1

The report quotes Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines:

“It’s hard to segment consumers across the markets, but you may be able to identify some common cultural themes based on the values of travellers and psychographics.”

Tech in APAC is, if anything, more important to the travel industry than in other regions and the study identifies tech-driven opportunities for travel firms to grow in the context of these four groups.

One of the most compelling openings is for online and offline agents to be able to connect to and transact with travellers on their trip, particularly for those under the “explorer” category who are the most likely to book on the go. It is worth noting that 85% of this group are interested in experiencing local cultures, which brings tours and activities, local guides, specialist and mainstream attractions and restaurants into the mix.

Also of note is that, across the region, the “travel like a local mantra” has been adopted by two-thirds of travellers.

Todd Arthur, vice president of sales and market development for Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific, told Tnooz:

“Some of the region’s big OTAs have done a great job in staying connected to their customers and giving them options during the trip – Ctrip the obvious example. But a lot of travel in the region is transacted through offline agents, and one of our priorities at Sabre is to provide the technology infrastructure and expertise to enable these agents to keep in touch with clients throughout.”

Elsewhere, the “connectors” – people for whom travelling “is not about self-discovery, but establishing status and sharing experiences” are identified as group most likely to plan the trip themselves and are also the most frequent travellers.

And travel firms should note that 61% of connectors claim sharing of their time away on social media inspired one of their network to take a trip.

“Followers” travel mainly with family and friends and are the most likely group to use a travel agent, making them an ideal group to target with in-trip offers and advice.

“Opportunists” are the smallest group but are the highest spenders, a strong incentive for travel firms to capture their attention. However, two-thirds of this group spend less than a week planning their trip, limiting the available touchpoints.

Click here to read Sabre’s press release which includes a link to the report.

NB: Image by Szefei/BigStock.com.


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Martin Cowen

About the Writer :: Martin Cowen

Martin Cowen is contributing editor for tnooz and is based in the UK. Besides reporting and editing, he also oversees our sponsored content initiative and works directly with clients to produce articles and reports. For the past several years he has worked as a freelance writer, specialising in B2B distribution and technology. Before freelancing, from 2000-2008, he was launch editor for e-tid.com, the first online-only B2B daily news service for the UK travel sector.



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