Despite global anxieties around its slowing economy, China continues to thrive.
NB: This is a viewpoint from Brian Chien, general manager for Amadeus China.
The country’s "Internet+" strategy is raising confidence in ecommerce while mobile usage has leapfrogged the rest of the world.
Elsewhere, the flourishing Chinese travel industry shows no signs of slowing down. thanks in part to ongoing investments in travel from the country's big three online giants - Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (together, affectionately known as ‘BAT’).
So it’s no surprise that innovation was the name of the game as some of China’s brightest developers gathered at Hangzhou’s renowned innovation centre, Alibaba Campus, for Tnooz’s THack event on 13 September 2015.
Powered by APIs from some of the leaders in travel, including the Amadeus Travel Innovation Sandbox API, developers worked to design solutions aimed at meeting the needs of the increasingly powerful Chinese traveller.
The results were remarkable.
The name of the winning entry was also a clear call to action: JoinIn. The solution that captured the hearts and minds of judges at the event promised to inspire group travellers, a mainstay of Chinese tourism.
JoinIn made its mark as the answer to organising complex group itineraries: inspiring travellers by gathering wish lists; creating and matching groups; providing travel recommendations with dynamic pricing; and personalising different aspects of the trip to each individual traveller.
Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency, energised its overseas hotel team to deliver "Room Touch", the second prize winner and the recipient of the Amadeus Innovation Prize.
The app allows travellers to get detailed 3D views of rooms – inside and out – using floorplans, Google Maps and a bird's eye view, allowing guests to experience the room before they commit to clicking the ‘book’ button.
JoinIn and Room Touch were just two solutions delivered by the 23 teams, made up of nearly 100 hackers, alongside other entries such as the rousingly named ‘Trailblazer’, which won the prize for ‘Best Use of an Amadeus API’.
In fact, more than half of the teams built their solutions using the Amadeus Sandbox.
It was not only inspiring but also a privilege to see Amadeus technology being used by the developer community for a second consecutive year.
Looking more broadly, innovative apps, solutions and ideas such as these are disrupting almost every industry, but this is particularly apparent in the travel industry in China.
China is embracing the Age of Traveller Power. The Chinese are travelling more than ever before. With new channels to deliver their aspirations, they are more individualistic and need innovative ways to connect their journeys.
This is why Amadeus is supporting the developer community in China. It is bright, agile and enthusiastic - and that means disruptive innovation, which we encourage.
This is a market that has embraced the leapfrog, and developers are focused almost solely on the screens in the palms of our hand, rather than the ones on our desks.
Amadeus believes in a traveller-centric approach, which means everything we do is with the traveller at the heart. We actively nurture, mentor and partner with travel start-ups in Asia Pacific and across the world – matching our technology, reach, expertise and funding with their agile innovation.
That’s why we are once again proud to play our part in powering THack, helping the most talented developers come up with ideas that truly shape the future of travel.
NB: This is a viewpoint from Brian Chien, General Manager, Amadeus China. It appears here as part of Tnooz's sponsored content initiative.
NB2: Click here to read "Hacking China travelers’ passion for mobile", Tnooz's coverage of the China THack
NB3:Image by Shutterstock