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Big data: China leads the way

In the future data may lead to greater changes in the travel market than those resulting from the current use of modern means of transport. This was the impression that emerged from the eTravel World at ITB Berlin, where the CTO of the Chinese internet travel agency Tuniu, Zhengrong Tang, provided an overview of his country's online travel market. He puts the value of this market at 73 billion US dollars. In 2015 some 109 million Chinese vacationed abroad. 

As a rule Chinese travellers do not book flights and hotels like Europeans do but instead choose a complete package consisting of a great many individual services. For the tour operators the organization and price structures are extremely complex: airlines, hotels, local transport, admission charges, food and accommodation, insurance, sightseeing and guided tours, as well as planning the logistics of the trip are just some of the many components that have to be incorporated in the booking portal, involving a massive volume of data. The advantage of this system is that intelligent algorithms can be used to produce new offers designed to meet the specific needs of particular target groups. This presents a great opportunity for internet tour operators, according to Zhengrong Tang, provided that they can master massive volumes of data: big data.

And then there are the advances in the mobile lifestyle to consider. Some 620 million Chinese, half the population, and with Tuniu mobile reservations have already overtaken the use of traditional websites. 75 per cent of all journeys are booked using mobile devices, and the Tuniu app has already been downloaded some 590 million times. And Zhengrong Tang says that this is just the beginning.

Mirko Heinemann


Hall 6.1, eTravel Stage


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