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?…

Events

Why you and your team should pay a visit to ‘Dialogue in the Dark’

by Huntley Mitchell

Dialogue in the Dark was the most eye-opening experience for the Travel Weekly team at AIME, despite not being able to see for the entire workshop.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Clear intentions crucial for making lasting connections, says networking strategist

by Huntley Mitchell

A prominent networking expert reckons cruel intentions are key for making valuable connections. Whoops, sorry! that should read ‘clear intentions’.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Chinese tourists cancel trips to “punish” New Zealand

by Ali Coulton

A cooling of relations between China and New Zealand has turned icy as Chinese state media reports tourists are cancelling their trips to the land of the long white cloud.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Flight Centre’s Top Destinations to Visit for 2019 reveal cold is no longer hot

by Christian Fleetwood

The news comes as a shock to the Travel Weekly staff after a broken air conditioner forced us to convert our office into a sauna.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

BARGAIN: Indian airline to be sold for 1 cent

by Christian Fleetwood

Shares in this airline cost less than the price of a cup of coffee, but you might want to reconsider this bargain on the stock exchange.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

From detention centre to tourism hotspot?

by Ali Coulton

Christmas Island has the potential to turn into Australia’s next tourism hotspot, but the government has other plans.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Wholesalers

Corporate Travel Management’s half-yearly profit growth soars

by Huntley Mitchell

CTM’s office bottle opener is set to get a workout today following some very positive financial results for the corporate travel player.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Major US airlines to make gender option on tickets more inclusive

by Christian Fleetwood

In a big win for equality and inclusiveness, United and American Airlines will make it optional to leave gender as male or female—as well as unspecified or undisclosed.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Giddy up slow pokes! The first entry for our Women in Travel Awards is already in

by Christian Fleetwood

We’re considering giving this woman an award just for being the first to enter the WIT Awards two years in a row!

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism Authority of Thailand and Asia Escape Holidays entertain Perth agents

Meanwhile, we’re three hours behind deadline because we spent our morning researching our dream holiday in Phuket instead of doing our job.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Big fat cruise wrap

It’s Wednesday and that can only mean two things: Cruise Wrap and our turn to take the office dog to his weekly manicure.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek interview with East Hotel’s Todd Handy

This week, we took East Hotel’s general manager aside for an uber-private chat in a secret location. Okay, fine – we emailed him.

Share

CommentComments