In a few years new technologies will completely change the way we work in the Travel Industry. The ITB China 2017 highlighted some of them. Find out more in this post.
Tourism Fairs and Exhibitions are a great way to meet new people and find new collaborations. The first ITB China, held in Shanghai on May 10-12, was a real success and the ITB team is willing to make this a fixed appointment every year.Like everything in China, organizing it was a real challenge, so much so that it took over two years and a half to prepare everything. But eventually they made it and it was really great.
Besides meeting Tourism Bureaus and Travel Agencies I think that events like the ITB give the unique possibility for Travel Bloggers (but in general for all who work in the travel industry) to learn about what are some of the challenges the industries is facing now and will face in the future.
ITB China: Will Bloggers keep the pace?
At this past ITB Matt Gibson, the president of the Travel Blogger Associations, gave an interesting speech about this topic. When we thought we learned how to manage the SEO, Google said the mobile optimization was a must, than they later introduced AMP pages. When we managed to implement those changes we realized that the Internet will soon, almost completely, switch to voice search (today about 20% of the queries made with android devices are voice search). This will once more change the way we, bloggers, create content. People don’t generally speak the same way the write. So instead of optimizing for keywords, we will (and actually should do it right now) have to optimize for voice search. There are plenty of resources online suggesting what to do.
I personally think that the biggest challenge would not be creating content that will rank well for voice search, but being able to monetize it. With voice search hyperlinks will be less and less important, as people don’t click on links when they ask questions to Siri or Cortana. I honestly don’t have any idea about how we will manage to monetize voice search (and Matt doesn’t have neither) but I’m sure the answer will become more obvious in the future. What I think will make a huge difference is the readiness by which we will implement the solutions to the new challenges.
Augmented reality is here already but it will be more and more popular in the future
The next step will be augmented reality and again the challenge will be keeping up with the change and becoming succesfull in monetizing the content. It looks to me that while is getting easier and easier for anyone to create content, and it will be even more so in the future, it will take a greater deal of technical preparation to successfully compete with the rest of the world.
Another thing I learned at this ITB is that China is a very important market for us and we should start targeting users in this part of the world. It’s 100 times more difficult since China doesn’t have any of the western social medias and the content must be in Chinese, but the Tourism Bureaus are more than willing to work with people who can target the second biggest outbound market in the world (soon to be the first). I think it will definitely be worth the time and efforts. I saw how many Tourism Boards and Travel Agencies were asking for the contact of a Chinese Blogger who, by western standards, doesn’t really have many visitors on her channels, but has the big advantage of creating content in Chinese. So if you are a Travel Blogger I strongly suggest you to work hard if you want to keep the pace with the challenges of the next few years.
Will you attend the ITB China 2018? This will help you understand some of the challenges, but also possible solutions, of working in the fastest growing travel market in the world.