The Chinese government’s plans to launch its own digital currency, while clamping down on existing providers, could influence how travel is transacted in the future, reveals the Top 100 City Destination Ranking WTM London 2017 Edition.
This September, the People’s Bank of China introduces measured effectively declaring initial coin offerings (ICOs) illegal. ICOs are a way for startups to raise capital by selling digital tokens, similar to shares, to investors. The tokens can be bought using currency or other virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
The ICO market – described by Bloomberg as a cross between crowdfunding and an initial public offering – is unregulated.
Earlier this year, the PBOC said it was planning to launch its own digital currency as part of the official money supply. The idea is that consumers will use the currency to buy goods and service via a digital wallet. This allows the Chinese economy to continue its digital revolution, while the PBOC keeps control over the financial market,” Euromonitor International, the report’s author, says.
For travel, the implications are potentially far-reaching. “The impact on the travel industry could be immense, not only in the way people pay for travel, but also by simplifying loyalty schemes and through smart contracts,” the report suggests.
While cryptocurrencies are part of the future, the present is about mobile-first. China continues to innovate from a position of strength, particularly when it comes to the all-in-one app. The report highlights the breadth of options available to the 750 million users of WeChat as an example of how far mobile-first has developed.
“WeChat allows its users to find and book trips, check in for flights and hotels, contact customer services, book activities or restaurant tables, and scan QR codes to buy products or turn on the lights or TV in their smart hotel room,” the report explains.
Multi-functionality within apps increasingly important, it continues, as “80% of our time is spent on just three apps.”
The “mobile first mindset” is spreading, the report adds, to China’s Asian neighbours, including Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand. “Governments and consumers in developing economies are turning to the mobile device to establish digital connectivity because of the cheaper network investment and falling mobile device prices,” it said.
WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “China’s influence on travel goes beyond the 100 million plus outbound travellers it contributes to the global travel industry. It has led the way with mobile development and is now at the forefront of bringing digital currencies into the financial mainstream, and many aspects of travel as we know it might change as a result.”
About World Travel Market
World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises five leading B2B events across four continents generating more than $7bn of industry deals. The events are;
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL – London every November generating around £2.8 billion of travel industry contracts. http://london.wtm.com/. Next event: 6-8 Nov 2017 – London.
International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) now in its 20th edition, is the meeting place for the global B2B golf travel community. More than 600 golf tourism suppliers join 350 pre-qualified buyers and 100 international press for four days of unmissable pre-scheduled appointments, exclusive networking opportunities and invaluable industry and trend updates. Taking place in a different destination every year, IGTM brings together 1,400 golf tourism professionals from over 65 countries. http://igtm.wtm.com/. Next event: 11-14 Dec 2017 – Cannes.
WTM Latin America now in its fifth edition attracts about 9,000 unique senior executives. The event generates US$ 370 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 7,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. http://latinamerica.wtm.com/. Next event: 3-5 April 2018 – Sao Paulo.
WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. http://africa.wtm.com/. Next event: 18-20 April 2018 – Cape Town.
Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2017 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, agreeing deals worth US$2.5bn over the four days. The 24th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, making it the largest ATM in its 24-year history. www.arabiantravelmarketwtm.com Next event 22-25 April 2018 – Dubai.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than 7m participants.
About Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.
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Paul Nelson – WTM Portfolio PR Manager
Natalia Hartmann – WTM Portfolio PR Executive