Even though information technology has developed dramatically in the past several years, it has not been used widely in tourism and related industries when comparing with other industries in Beijing. But this situation has changed a lot recently. E-commerce has penetrated deeply in tourism industry nowadays.
Popularity of online reservation
Nowadays, more and more travelling websites like Elong and Mango take great advantage of OTA (over-the-air) technology and make it a core strategy of company operation. The online rates of Elong and Mango website are both higher than 55% and Ctrip is about 45%. Some companies offer lots of coupons in order to encourage customers to book their trip online. One of the major reasons is to save the cost of every order. Online reservation is about 9 Yuan cheaper than calling center. From the aspect of passengers, it is also easier and cheaper if they can book their trip online. In that case, booking online may have a great possibility becoming the industry trend and thus replace the major function of most calling center in the future.
Importance of wireless reservation
During 2012, online travelling market is separated into three parts: online booking, calling center and wireless booking. In the current situation, the use of wireless in the OTA area is not as frequent as it has in other areas. Based on the high launching rate of smart phone in the cell phone market, the popularizing rate of smart phone is going to increase rapidly. Cyber citizen is going to change their surfing habit without doubt. It is with great certain that online travelling industry is going to enter a quite promising future which will become a great opportunity if marketers in Beijing tourism industry can take advantage of.
Development of market segment
With the fast development of wireless and success case of Priceline, more and more business find the huge opportunities in OTA. Based on the Priceline and Last-minute mode, more business model such as “I bid”, break-prison, best choice, and hotel bargaining and the “best-sale tonight” come into this area. The total online travelling market has been separated into more market segments, for example, hourly rate hotel room, high-end holiday hotel, etc.
Trip product mix
Via the platform of OTA and mode such as group purchase and last-minute, product mix can better satisfy customers’ needs. With the help of these modes, customers may want to meet more value-added needs like ticket booking, renting car, shopping instead of basic necessities. If this trend can be the main stream in the future, on-stop trip booking can bring great convenience to customers and much lower cost and better benefit to marketers.
Based on all of these new trends in the tourism industry, we can see that more and more information technology in getting involved in the marketing. It is going to open a totally new door for the marketing strategy of Beijing tourism. Apart from the traditional marketing strategies and media, all the participator in this market, including travel agency, tourist spots, hotels, restaurants cannot neglect the huge effect from IT industry on tourism market.
To conclude, the total inflow of passengers either from outside of mainland China or from mainland China has increased gradually in the recent years and it is predicted to increase in the future. In order to satisfy different needs of these tourists, Beijing has already made great effort to organize and remarket tourism resources. Even though some segments still remain to be managed, we can anticipate that the future market will tend to be more integrated and internationalized. Another huge trend that may have a great influence on development of tourism industry is the involvement of Information Technology—OTA. With the assistant of advanced technology, each market participator can achieve their own benefit and success. In one word, this market contains quite a lot of opportunities as well as a promising future.