A more diverse range of products and greater control
Changing consumer travel demands around the world are calling for product diversification and customisation. And no more so than in China. Min Fan, CEO of the Chinese company OTA Ctrip, which this year bought the Chinese high-end tour operator Trip TM, stressed at a recent travel forum that the desire for luxury travel in China is ripe, as an increasing number of wealthy citizens are created. “There isn’t a travel consultant specialising solely in high-end products in Taiwan, Hong Kong or China,” he said. “[Ctrip] will create different themes to suit different markets. For instance, wine-tasting tours. In the long-term, we intend to leverage a full range of versatile products, such as different grades of hotels, and explore more overseas options.”
In China, the silver hair market currently has the biggest potential, Yu Ningning, president of the China International Travel Service said. More diverse products such as self-drive holidays are needed.
Michael Frenzel, chairman of the executive board of TUI AG, who is currently also chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council, said: “Real experience will become the status symbols of the future. So destination and resort planning is no longer a question of capacity but of experience management. Only those who know the customer can serve their very individual personalised needs.” He added: “Digital solutions are becoming crucial in any customer interaction along the tourism value chain.”
Research by TUI Travel predicts that Chinese group travel to Europe will evolve into a large range of niche options for widely differing target groups, while customers will want to play an active role in arranging their holidays.
[pictured: Window of the World Park, Changsha, China]