Tourism

“Time is cost to a consumer”: Expedia’s Drew Bowering at Maximum Occupancy

Lauren Croft

ICYMI, Maximum Occupancy was held last week in Sydney, and we had the pleasure of attending!

Maximum Occupancy is Australasia’s leading Accommodation Industry Conference – and this year, had a record number of attendees, new exhibitors, exciting content and fantastic keynote speakers.

There were a ton of killer speakers present, and the event included keynotes and panellists from Google, Expedia, RevenYou, Triptease, Revinate, Hotelscombined, Ovolo Hotels, BIG4 Holiday Parks and other industry experts.

We sat in on Expedia’s Drew Bowering explaining how to engage travellers throughout their journey – and boy did we learn a lot.

Bowering is the senior director, market management for Expedia Oceania, and outlined two megatrends that shape product culture.

The first is that the pace of change relating to technology and innovation that’s impacting the travel industry is at an all-time high.

“Technology is moving so, so fast – tomorrow looks different to what we know today,” Bowering said.

The second megatrend is that consumer engagement is at an all-time low.

“The time that you get in front of a consumer is at such a premium like it never has been before,” he said.

“Time is cost to a consumer, and that’s super important to understand when you think about these statistics: the average user of a smartphone checks it 110 times a day. A more addicted user checks it around 900 times a day.”

Bowering added that the average person will spend over five years on social media in total, and just over one year of their lives actually socialising in real life. And it’s starting at a younger age than ever – over 70 per cent of children in Korea have, and use, a smartphone.

So why does consumer engagement and technology matter so much?

“Every minute that you have with a customer now is worth way more than it used to be. That means, as product owners, the time that you have in terms of the ability to influence a customer is at a premium like it has never been before.

Which means it’s vital to deliver something that is more engaging than ever before – throughout the whole of the customer journey.

Bowering said that Expedia is engaging their customers – and their hotel and other travel partners – by listening to them.

“In 2017, we went around the world, speaking to tens of thousands of partners to hear from them.

“That doesn’t mean that we build everything our partners are asking for, but it does mean that the stuff we’re building has a higher degree of confidence, and will resonate with and engage our partners, and will, therefore, have a higher impact on our consumers as well.

Expedia has seen this method deliver them a better, more improved platform in 24 minutes – which Bowering said was all down to listening to their customers.

And listening has uncovered that, when booking a holiday, customers go through four phases: discovery, shop and book, experience and reflection. And in the context of booking a trip, customers are always thinking about four things: who’s travelling, when and how long we’re travelling for, why they’re travelling, and their budget.

And the key for maximum engagement is reaching customers throughout all aspects of their journey.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

  • sting

    …. customers want cheap or cheaper rates…all the time…. added value, forget it… it doesn’t work… I know this for sure because expedia’s broadcast campaign is unrelenting… btw, why haven’t you got drew bowering’s photo?…

Tourism

Big Fat Aloha Friday Wrap

This is our very last Aloha Friday wrap of the year! From rodeos to resort openings to making poke, find all your Hawaii news right here.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Big Fat Agent Wrap

Welcome to the second last agent wrap of the year! Don’t expect anything amazing next week – we’ll be too busy singing Christmas carols to do any work.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Give yourself as a gift this Christmas

Don’t have any money this Christmas? Give yourself as a gift! And yes, by that we mean literally wrap yourself up as a present. What’s more festive than that?

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the week

Welcome to a very festive edition of Flavour of the Week! Why is it festive, you ask? We wore a Santa hat while writing it and think it really comes out in the text.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

“We are never settled, always looking to challenge the status quo”: Excite Holidays

by Lauren Croft

We chatted with Australian Travel Awards Wholesaler of the Year winners, Excite Holidays about their favourite type of cheese and how to kill it on the d-floor. Oh, and winning the award.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

These are Australia’s most Instagrammed locations

Our most Instagrammed location has been our pocket since our lock screen broke. After a while, we got tired of deleting the pictures and now try to pass them off as arty.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas nixes staff volunteer problem after union outcry

The airline said the program will now only include 50 senior managers and executives after being accused of “grinch behaviour”.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tripadvisor names top 10 foodie experiences worldwide

Because what’s a Friday without a story filled with pictures of delicious food from your pals at Travel Weekly?

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air France to welcome its first female CEO

This is a huge win for the airline industry, considering only 12 out of 286 IATA airlines are run by women.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

ATTN AGENTS: Royal Caribbean launches its biggest incentive yet!

Just when you thought all the exciting end of year incentives were over, RCL has gone and blown our expectations launching their biggest consultant incentive yet.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

The off-the-grid cabins every city-slicker is dying to book

by Melina Gouveia

Ditch the commitments, heed the call of the wild, and cure your nature deficient disorder with these swanky cabins.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Let’s make Poke! Hawaiian Airlines’ industry guests join Chef Lee Anne Wong in Sydney

Hawaiian Airlines hosted a fun promotion at the Sydney Cooking School recently inviting guests including key travel industry partners to meet Hawaiian Airlines Executive Chef Lee Anne Wong

Share

CommentComments