Asia’s luxury travel industry and Asia’s luxury travelers — particularly those in China — are at the forefront in social media, according to a new report.
The study was conducted by Brand Karma, in conjunction with International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), and examined millions of online reviews and posts on social media by Asian luxury travelers to determine current trends in consumer behavior.
The findings were encouraging, showing that “Asia is both the present and future of luxury travel, and the epicenter of digital media growth over the next decade,” reports Web in Travel.
The popularity of social networks like WeChat, LINE, WhatsApp, and KakaoTalk is growing rapidly in Asia, and should prove to be lucrative for luxury travel brands. These messaging applications, unlike more traditional social media, allow “immediate access” to the user’s contact list through their mobile device, making it easier to make connections. LINE and WeChat are now allowing companies to manage customer support through their applications, and brands can set up loyalty applications and generate sales through these networks.
Asian hotel groups are also using Facebook to generate more bookings, creating targeted advertising campaigns based on consumer preferences and demographics.
The study also showed that online media platforms like Vine, Instagram, and Pinterest provide useful outlets for luxury accommodations to market their food and beverage (F&B) and spa services, which “comprise a significant portion of a hotel’s revenue in Asia.”
Asian travelers have also become the world’s most prolific online reviewers of luxury accommodations. Travelers from Asia posted 53 percent of all luxury travel reviews written between 2012 and 2014. Most areas in the Asia-Pacific region saw a review increase of just 5 percent, but China showed an incredible 89 percent increase in luxury travel reviews written. Chinese travelers write most frequently about cities in their home country, with Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Sanya, and Hangzhou the most reviewed destinations, and 61 percent of reviews written by Chinese travelers are positive.
Chinese review sites like Ctrip, Dao Dao, and Qunar together comprise 22.2 percent of global luxury hotel reviews, though Trip Advisor remains number one in the world, at 42.8 percent.
image credit: ctrip, brand karma