Social Media to Become Main Discovery Channel for Experiences in Asia

Klook’s CCO discusses shifts in experience booking behavior and how younger generations of travelers are driving a shift in travel discovery at Arival Activate | Bangkok 2023

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One of the most significant shifts in the post-Covid traveler, according to Wilfred Fan, Chief Commercial Officer at online travel agency (OTA) Klook, is how they are discovering things to do. 

“The rise of social media and other social channels as discovery platforms for travel is becoming more and more significant,” said Fan, in a one-on-one interview at Arival Activate | Bangkok 2023. “Right now is a growth opportunity but in the next two, three years it will be the main channel, the majority of the business will be coming through that.” 

For operators of tours, activities and attractions, what this means is that social media is increasingly influential for online discovery — travelers can discover the same experiences that others with similar tastes have liked before. With this in mind, the importance of having a digital presence and quality content is crucial.

Watch the full conversation here:

Wilfred Fan from Klook offers insights on shifting user behavior around travel discovery at Arival Activate | Bangkok in June 2023

Discovery: How to Use Content to Attract Younger Travelers

On the main stage at Arival Activate | Bangkok 2023, Wilfred Fan discussed this shift and the importance of quality content from multiple sources — the operators themselves, the OTAs/distributors, and of course social media — in attracting these younger generations of travelers. 

“A lot of times the consumer, they don’t like to go to an official website and see a clip of what the seller wants you to see,” explained Fan. “They’d rather go to an anonymous person who just happened to stop by your place and check it out, and have a good time or not have a good time. They want to see that, it’s the reality view that they’re looking for.”

Wilfred Fan and Douglas Quinby discuss the importance of content for attracting travelers in this clip from Arival Activate | Bangkok in June 2023

Inspiration: What Travelers are Looking For

So what are younger travelers looking for in the content itself? According to data shared by Klook based on a survey of Millennial and Gen Z travelers in Singapore, these younger travelers are motivated by “the search for inspiration,” with one in four travelers actively seeking it out on their journeys. 

To find inspiration, one third look to cultural experiences such as museum visits and art jamming workshops. Millennials in particular look to nature-based experiences while Gen Z travelers flock to cities. 

Operators looking to attract these younger travelers should consider developing content around the themes of inspiration, with a focus on nature-based, city-based and cultural experiences. 

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Learn More About Traveler Booking Trends at Arival

At Arival Activate | Bangkok, Wilfred Fan fielded questions on the main stage in a Fireside Chat with Arival CEO Douglas Quinby, discussing traveler booking behavior, the state of travel recovery and rebound in Asia, and what’s next for operators.  

Watch the full on-demand recording of the Fireside Chat with Wilfred Fan with an Insider Pro Access membership. 

Better yet, join us at the upcoming Arival 360 | Orlando this October to dig deeper into traveler booking trends, social media marketing, and so much more. We hope to see you there!

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