Global travel sites target fast-growing China market – TRAVEL – Globaltimes.cn

Hotels onlineOne of the worlds largest online travel booking sites released their official Chinese website and app earlier this month.”We hope to show our determination on developing the Chinese market by offering online hotel booking services of high quality,” said Zhuang Peifu, marketing director in China of hotels.com, at the press conference.

Hotel booking site HRS also entered the China market in July last year, offering Chinese language pages and a booking system on websites and mobile terminals. Its listings include castles and those with special services or designs, especially European destinations.China has become the largest tourism spender in the world, according to China Tourism Academy statistics released last August. With about 98 million person-time Chinese mainland tourists traveling overseas last year, the market has potential.

The prediction for this year is 16 percent growth to 114 million.  Chinese online travel booking sites are also growing rapidly. Two domestic online travel booking sites – ctrip.com and qunar.com – ranked 10th and 15th globally on skift.com last October. Customized for Chinese”There are a lot of foreign websites offering hotel booking services with different promotion styles, but some of them set up their Chinese language pages early, which means it will be easier for them to habituate Chinese customers,” said Li Peng, a freelance overseas travel consultant.

Li recommended two sites under Priceline Group, booking.com and agoda.com as his first choices when booking foreign hotels for his customers.Cooperating with Chinas largest online booking site ctrip.com, booking.com has explored the Chinese market since 2012. With its customer services and Chinese language pages, the site has gained wide praise from Chinese users. Of course another reason booking.com is preferred by many Chinese customers is that most bookings can be canceled for free. The site can also automatically form an itinerary list with details of all the hotels customers are booking, a very necessary tool for Chinese people applying for travel visas in other countries, such as the Schengen visa for European countries. Most places can be changed or canceled for free later if they want to change their destinations or schedules.

Booking.com has taught a lesson to new arrivals. Both HRS and hotels.com announced it was free to cancel or change a booking.  “These international websites have their strong database of hotels, which means many hotels can be found on all of these sites and the discounts they offer always make a difference over time,” Li said.HRS customized services for Chinese tourists. “China friendly” listed hotels offer special services for Chinese customers and “HRS Deals” promote half-price hotels daily.Agoda.com attracts members with its personal purchase points. “We can get the discount back by adding up the purchase points which means that the more we book,%

via Global travel sites target fast-growing China market – TRAVEL – Globaltimes.cn.

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WTM 2014 launches wellness tourism programme | Conference News

World Travel Market WTM is launching a wellness tourism programme for its November 2014 edition.   It is a sector reportedly growing at a rate of nine per cent annually, compared to the travel and tourism industry’s six per cent.The WTM Wellness Tourism programme, organised by Spafinder Wellness 365 in association with the Global Wellness Tourism Congress, will take place across three days of the show, 4-6 November. The first session on 4 November will explore why wellness tourism is growing faster than the wider travel and tourism industry. The latest research from the sector will also be examined.  The second session will aim to define both medical tourism and wellness tourism, which are often confused. And the third session, on 6 November, will look at how national and regional governments and private sector businesses have integrated wellness tourism into their marketing campaigns.Spafinder Wellness 365 Managing Director John Bevan said: “The sector offers a wide range of opportunities for the travel and tourism industry to benefit from and World Travel Market, with more than 50,000 senior industry executives in attendance agreeing more than £2bn in business deals, is the perfect platform to help grow the sector further.”via WTM 2014 launches wellness tourism programme | Conference News.

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Tourism marketing – a passion for excellence – eTurboNews.com

By Dr. Peter Tarlow, President and Founder of Tourism & More Inc.

Although many tourism practitioners believe that they are marketing a destination, it might be more accurate to call travel and tourism: “marketing with a destination”. All too often, travel and tourism professionals are so businesslike that they forget that the basis of a great marketing program is \”a passion-for-excellence.\” Tourism marketing is dependent on four intangibles: good luck, hard work, a sense of integrity, and a passion for people.

via Tourism marketing – a passion for excellence – eTurboNews.com.

TripAdvisor Roadmap: How it Wants to Own the Travel Cycle – Skift

Trip AdvisorTripAdvisor, which began as a place to read reviews and research a trip, and lately has morphed into hotel bookings through metasearch, has a new frontier: TripAdvisor wants to become an in-destination personal concierge.

This extension of TripAdvisor’s interest into another facet of the travel cycle comes because of the proliferation of mobile devices, and is great news for tours and activities startups, many of which have been struggling with business models or have died off.

Don’t be surprised if TripAdvisor, which often buys a handful of travel startups each year, comes knocking on the door of GetYourGuide, 18-year-old Viator (although it would be relatively expensive), or another tours and activities startup to further TripAdvisor’s in-destination ambitions.

Skift sat down with TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer earlier this week, and he described TripAdvisor’s vision of the future, which broke down into four areas: global growth, becoming an in-destination personal concierge, vacation rentals, and improving TripAdvisor search.

via TripAdvisor Roadmap: How it Wants to Own the Travel Cycle – Skift.

Ireland Trending as World’s Top Travel Bloggers Kick Off Global Forum in Dublin

Bloggers congregating for TBEX.

Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Marketing, John Concannon, this morning welcomed 600 travel bloggers to Ireland at the launch of TBEX 2013, the Travel Bloggers Exchange – the world’s largest conference and networking event for online travel journalists which takes place today and tomorrow.

Said Mr Concannon in a statement: “The future of travel and tourism is increasingly digital and the voice of bloggers is becoming more and more influential in helping travellers to decide which destinations to choose. I hope that while you are amongst us here in Ireland this week that you link, tweet, Facebook and ‘like’ all the great things to see and do here”.

TBEX 2013 arrives in Ireland following a competition which saw Fáilte Ireland’s bid win out over other international venues to bring the event here. Many of the delegates have taken the opportunity, while here, to tour Ireland on a number of Fáilte Ireland-organised tours and share their experiences with their followers.

via Ireland Trending as World’s Top Travel Bloggers Kick Off Global Forum in Dublin.

TripAdvisor Lets Renovated Hotels Erase Old Reviews – Skift

TripAdvisor Now Removing Old Negative Reviews After Hotels Renovate

In response to hotel owners’ request for a fresh start following major renovations, TripAdvisor added a review removal policy last October, and updated the policy for clarity in July 2013.

The odds are big for hotels: In exchange for proof of major renovations, a hotel’s old reviews are wiped clean — a fresh start.

Hotels must produce proof of structural changes including the installation of new guest rooms or bathrooms, alterations to hotel layout, or complete property overhauls. Cosmetic changes like new paint or curtains do not count.

According to TripAdvisor’s Help Center (screenshot embedded below), hotels need to provide building permits, materials invoices, or press releases to prove that the renovations were indeed structural and completed.

via TripAdvisor Lets Renovated Hotels Erase Old Reviews – Skift.

Attracting Tourists Beyond Gateway Cities: Marketing London Plus Example – Skift

Among the big travel marketing challenges every country faces is moving tourists beyond the gateway cities that they arrive in — to other parts of the country — and spread the economic benefit of tourism more equally instead of just the popular hubs. This is also the crux of the tension between national and state/regional tourism boards, as we wrote about here previously, citing the example of Tourism Australia and STOs in the country.

Another interesting and related new project comes from VisitBritain, on delivering more “regional spread” of tourists across the country beyond the gateway city of London. It recently commissioned research agency Olive Insight to conduct a study into why many visitors do not go beyond London, what the barriers are, and also what attracts those that do go beyond London to do so.

via Attracting Tourists Beyond Gateway Cities: Marketing London Plus Example – Skift.

Five Best Travel Ads: India, Peru, Peninsula Hotels, Hilton, Expedia – Skift

There’s only one place where ignoring the organization and logistics involved with travel really pays off. That’s in travel ads where people don’t want to think about renting a car or booking a tour, but want to imagine themselves steeped in culture in front of vistas they’ve only seen in their dreams.

Consequently, this week’s ad roundup looks at the romantic side of travel. It looks past business meetings to see face-to-face human connection, turns arguably irresponsible last-minute trips into a celebration of spontaneity, and highlights how ancient trails can become a modern-day action movie.

via Five Best Travel Ads: India, Peru, Peninsula Hotels, Hilton, Expedia – Skift.