Episode #006 - Hari Nair (Expedia), medical tourism and #GetNZOnTheMap
In our sixth episode we interview Global Senior Vice President of Expedia Media Solutions Hari Nair at the Travel Marketing Summit in Sydney to better understand how Expedia uses data to address key travel marketing challenges for its clients. Nair tells co-hosts Lauren Quaintance and Andrés López-Varela that travel transaction data from Expedia’s global platform gave travel marketers the opportunity to move away from a vanilla, one-size-fits-all approach to marketing and recognise that travel behaviour varies quite dramatically around the globe.
“Today we know that customers actually react very differently depending upon which part of the planet you are from. We know, for example, in Japan, you have people who actually take fewer trips in a year. Their trips are actually shorter and they actually like to stay domestically. We see something very, very different in Australia. We actually see that their average number of holidays that they take is around four trips a year. Each of their trips is about ten days long.”
Travel consumers were extremely undecided and, Nair said, Expedia’s path to purchase study shows that travellers are visiting websites 120 times in the 45 days prior to booking. “But it's true that consumers are very undecided, which is actually great news for travel marketers because you absolutely have the ability to influence them. I think the example that was quoted [in Nair’s talk at the Travel Marketing Summit] was we actually did the study and people start looking for a holiday in Ireland and they ended up booking Cancun.”
Nair also talked about how understanding travellers’ spending habits can be a powerful tool to shape your marketing efforts. “When you really start looking deeper into the numbers, there are three things that really stand out to me. One, is hotel and air takes up 50% of somebody's budget. Second, food is turning out to be an emerging trend, particularly food experiences… Third, Chinese [travellers] specifically, shopping is huge for them - 16% of their budget goes toward shopping experiences. Then you have tours and attractions which usually they make up about 15% of the spend. When you take a look at how international travellers respond to certain experiences in a destination, you can quickly start seeing and probably catering to those needs that the customers have.”
Meanwhile in 'Trend Monitor', co-hosts Lauren and Andrés dissect a recent study saying the size of the market for medical tourism is anticipated to reach $15 billion US dollars by 2023 (with Asia Pacific accounting for 40% of that.) We talk about the dual marketing function destinations interested in medical tourism need to play – emphasising their medical expertise as well as the experience you can have as a tourists. Lauren says she’d like to see what role influencers might play in this space.
And in 'Campaign News' we talk about a humorous creative campaign from Tourism New Zealand starring Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and comedian Rhys Darby called #GetNZOnTheMap. New Zealand-born Lauren praises the campaign for its viral reach given its tiny budget. She says it “really sums up the Kiwi sense of humour” but questions how it fits strategically with their 100% Pure Campaign. Andrés notes that it seems to be a “proactive opportunity” but he did not think it was off brand. In comparison, he says Tourism Australia’s $100 million plus Dundee campaign, which was also released recently, was a deeply strategic move in response to a decline in visitation to Australia from the US
Hari Nair blog posts//Expedia Media Group blog
An Australian Adventure//Tourism Australia and Expedia
Sound Travels//Brand USA and Expedia
Medical Tourism Market Anticipated to Reach USD 15.43 billion by 2023//TechnologyJournal24
Medical Tourism Guide//Health-Tourism
#GetNZOnTheMap//100% Pure New Zealand on YouTube
Getting New Zealand on the map: The cup of coffee with an $8m pay-off//New Zealand Herald
Tourism Australia Dundee Super Bowl Ad 2018 w/ Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride (Extended)//Tourism Australia on YouTube
Push to boost spending of US tourists following spoof Crocodile Dundee movie campaign//Australian Financial Review