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China to define future of travel


China may soon lead the way in travel, delegates told
The future of travel will be defined by what happens in China, the Skift Forum Europe was told earlier this month.
“Taking [Chinese provider of travel services] Ctrip as an example, there is no latency in search results. Bang – it’s immediate,” said Colin Lewis, chief marketing officer of the travel-tech company OpenJaw Technologies. “The Chinese customer is used to incredible results and service immediately.”
Delegates heard that the rate of technological development in China means that Chinese companies will become dominant players in the global travel industry.
Lewis explained that while Facebook sees itself as a media business, Chinese social media platforms do not perceive themselves as operating in any particular business area.
“They don’t think of themselves as being in one sector – they could decide next week that they want to get into the search-and-book space,” he pointed out.
“On WeChat [an app similar to WhatsApp], you can already link to the airline to book, and you can pay through WeChat Pay. It’s about how can we make life easier for our customer, and then how can we make money?”
He added: “It will be micro-payments and micro-moments that they go after.”
Chinese e-commerce platforms are already taking hold in Europe, with European cities adopting AliPay and WeChat Pay facilities to enable Chinese tourists to spend money in their shops.
Lewis said that Chinese online travel agents already outperform many longer-established Western brands.
TTG Digital


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