October 12, 2017

Look to China to See the Future of Travel

Skyscanner has released a White Paper focusing on travel technology trends in China and detailing why many in the industry are now looking East for inspiration.

The paper details the consumer technology preferences and travel habits of the most populous country on earth, showing that mobile search and payments solutions, and branded store-front style shopping are the norm in the region.

“China is an authentically mobile society, and in the travel context, companies there have successfully used technology to automate payments and customer service within native mobile applications”, said Steven Pang, Skyscanner’s General Manager, China.

A handful of airlines have begun to shape their technology with the Chinese traveller in mind. European carriers KLM and Finnair, for example, have introduced payment and customer services on Chinese social media application WeChat. Many airlines, however, are yet to adapt their technology to this audience.

The paper highlights how important and fast-growing the Chinese air travel market is, something which many airlines are likely to want to capitalise on.  

The report includes stats from IATA which suggest that China may overtake the US as the world’s largest aviation market by 2024, and data released by Airbus showing that international travel to and from China has more than doubled in the past ten years. This piece also combines the travel search engine’s own data which shows strong domestic destination growth, but also points to the increasing popularity of European destinations for Chinese air travellers.

Skyscanner has a unique perspective and insight on the region, with offices in both Beijing and Shenzhen, and having last year been acquired by China based Ctrip.

This week Skyscanner CEO and Co-Founder Gareth Williams will speak of the opportunities China represents to the airline industry at CAPA’s Global Summit in London.