Asia is a massive source market. The marketing company Brand Karma forecasts that the generation of Asians born around the turn of the millennium, the “millennials”, will be spending around 340 billion dollars on international travel by 2020. What sort of digital tools do these young Asians use on their travels? And how does one reach out to this target group?
These questions were addressed by Matt Cuckston, European director for the Asian booking app KLOOK, in his paper at ITB Berlin. This app was developed in 2014 specially for the Asian market, and forms the starting point for travellers in the rapidly expanding economies of China, Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong. This platform is also popular in such destinations in Southeast Asia as Vietnam and Singapore.
But firstly it is important to understand how Asians travel. “My wife is a millennial and she comes from Shanghai”, Cuckston explains. “While I want to lie on a beach when on vacation, she would rather do something and see as much as possible: restaurants, places of cultural interest, sights.” Which means: Asian millennials make extensive use of offers of tours and activities.
KLOOK enables its users to manage reservations as well as activities, Cuckston explains. The app combines the entire “user journey” in a digital offer. In a similar way to their European contemporaries, Asian millennials make use of social media channels to communicate and find their way around. They use the internet to make their travel reservations, and in China over 50 per cent of them do so on mobile devices. What is needed is a “super app” that combines all these features, Cuckston says, leaving it up to the auditorium to imagine what this could be: KLOOK maybe?