Key takeaways from the PTM Forums at PTM 2019

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Photo Credit: Kazakh Tourism National Company JSC

The PTM Forums at PATA Travel Mart 2019 came to close yesterday with resounding success! Held prior to the two days of pre-matched business appointments, the PTM Forums offer delegates access to industry trends and shared knowledge from experts in various fields – all essential to building a robust and effective business strategy.

There were many key insights and learnings to be gleaned from both the morning session in partnership with Travel Weekly Group‘Travolution Forum Asia: The Power of Technology’ – the afternoon session in partnership with UpThink‘Content Marketing Forum: Success Stories and the Evolution of Content Creation’.

We’ve surfaced the top 5 key learnings that are currently shaping the travel industry and creating moments in the culture of travel:

Photo Credit: Kazakh Tourism National Company JSC

1. In an era when everyone talks about globalisation, it is localisation that creates opportunities. 

Rather than creating content from the perspective of an international organisation, travel firms should have a clear understanding of the market they are targeting and ensure that they are creating content that is unique from other international organisations.

“Content needs to be, concise, informative, yet inspiring , and engagement is more important than number. It is better to focus on less number but more quality.” – Zaure Rozmat, CEO, The Steppe

Photo Credit: Kazakh Tourism National Company JSC

2. The tourism sector cannot be self-contained, especially in moving towards sustainability.

Public sector, private sector, NGOs, governments, and destinations need to work in their role as well as collaborate with others to share knowledge, integrate innovations and technologies, and build trust between communities to achieve the goal of sustainable tourism.

“It is important that destinations have dialogue with other players in the industry. They can benefit from the expertise of each other.”– Jason Lusk, Consultant, ADB Ventures

Photo Credit: Kazakh Tourism National Company JSC

3. Data is the new oil, especially when it comes to personalisation.

It is important to understand the customer and the motivation of a particular traveler when they make a decision to travel. With 5G, the transmission of data will be much faster, everything will be online, and data will be even more important. This will take tourism a step further. In the past, it was about “big data”, now the data needs to be personalised in order to create an effective marketing strategy.

“As travellers, we actually crave human contact. With technology going forwards, it brings with it the human aspects, and with data, used properly, it’s a great opportunity to embrace technology and humanity for the travel industry.” – Tony Smyth, Senior Vice President Corporate Development & Communications, iFree Group

Photo Credit: Kazakh Tourism National Company JSC

4. Technology can be leveraged for tourism dispersal through public – private sector partnerships.

For example, partnerships with airlines allows destinations and travel businesses to understand how tourists arrive or travel into a destination and thus work towards distributing tourists away from mainstream spots. This data can be used to influence supply and demand. However, it is important for governments and private sectors to collaborate.

“In order to cope with overtourism, we have to understand tourism trends, analyse peak periods and work with destinations by educating them on how to divert tourists to secondary destinations. It is also important for government and private sectors to collaborate, and for organisations to join hands to help beyond what they are known for.”– Russell Young, Managing Director – APAC, Sojern

Photo Credit: Kazakh Tourism National Company JSC

5. There is no one perfect content marketing channel.

New social media platforms are popping up regularly, resulting in new ways for people to consume content placing content marketers in a never-ending cycle to keep pace. The blog offers a strong human-to-human connection, video remains powerful in visual inspiration, while marketing through podcasts is growing fast. Learning what works best for your business through experimentation is key to success. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for new emerging channels! The successful marketer is usually the one with first-mover’s advantage.