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Posted September 3, 2018

mobile bookings travel

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In our last blog post on the Asia Pacific travel market, we focused in on the impressive growth the region is set to see (see: Asia Pacific Travel Market Growing At A Rapid Pace), this time we are focusing in on where travel is booked.

According to Phocuswright’s 10th edition of Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview, mobile’s share of the APAC online travel market was 48% last year, and not surprisingly, China led the way with 68% of bookings done on mobile devices. When booking with OTAs specifically, mobile devices were used for the majority of the time (53%).

Phocuswright reports, “Online travel agencies (OTAs) play an integral role in research and buying. OTAs are also pushing mobile sales more than suppliers, which are yet to make a meaningful impact on that platform.” They predict OTAs will outpace direct online bookings by 2020.

A significant contributor to the APAC travel market’s sustained growth is increasing intra-region travel. In the 2018 Air Travel Outlook Report, Airline Reporting Corporation describes it as “incredible intra-Asia traveler volumes driving international arrivals into airports across the Asia region, much of this concentrated within North Asia.”

Raini Hamdi touches on this in a 2018 Skift.com piece on the growth of Asian upscale travelers, particularly “newly rich millennials” who he explains “want to play in Asia” because “prices are lower, service standards are higher, and tourist attractions are as diversified as the Asian luxury travelers themselves.” He cites several online tour and activities companies, including Localalike (Thailand), Backstreet Academy (Singapore) and Klook (Hong Kong) as startups that “deliver what these travelers want the way they are used to having it.”

Check In Asia lists “driving domestic demand” as one of its 10 trends in Asian tourism. “Traveling within national borders is gaining popularity Asia-wide. In South East Asian nations like Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, homegrown tourists take advantage of competitive LLC sectors for a long weekend and public holiday escapes.”


Richard Cogswell

Richard Cogswell

Richard joins us with 20 years B2B payments and electronic invoicing experience. Richard is originally from the UK and has been based in Singapore for 6 years with wide ranging experience across APAC. Richard will be helping to lead the expanding WEX Asia team and go to market strategy, focusing on travel and corporate payments in the region.


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