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Personalised travel experiences by means of AI

Asian woman standing on a subway platform

Asian travellers are looking for personalized travel experiences

Experiences instead of shopping: to an increasing extent when Asians travel their activities are more than just shopping expeditions. This was the conclusion drawn by Schubert Lou, COO of, during his keynote speech on the eTravel Stage at the ITB Berlin Convention. He advised the tourism sector to adapt to the digital habits of travellers, from planning their trip to making bookings and their experiences at the destination. In this context he examined how AI-assisted technology can enable tourists from China to enjoy a personalised travel experience outside the borders of their own country, taking into account their special preferences and requirements.

Whereas the behaviour of Asian tourists was more restrained following the pandemic, it regained its momentum in 2024, the “Year of the Dragon”. This was confirmed by the figures that Schubert Lou presented. Compared with 2019, travel from China to Southeast Asia increased by 30 per cent, while reservations for tours and organised activities rose by as much as 130 per cent. The contributing factors included the easing of visa requirements, which is increasingly the case with Europe too.

Comparisons with a survey of travellers that was presented by Lou confirmed a change in the priorities of Asian visitors. Experiences are now more important than shopping, and these tend to take the form of day trips rather than organised group travel. Many people are showing an interest in regional musical and sporting events such as concerts or festivals and plan their journeys around such experiences.

Value for money is an important factor for travellers. Among the ways that this is achieved are to visit popular destinations during the off-peak season, or choosing less well-known destinations that offer a similar kind of experience. European tour operators often underestimate the extent to which most Asian travellers embrace digitalisation. This includes using apps to make payments, translation tools and applications enabling a suitable restaurant to be found. The prerequisite for this is the availability of uncomplicated wifi and sim card solutions at the vacation destination.

According to Lou, in order to attract Asian travellers to a destination it is important have an overview of the entire consumer journey, from inspiring images and videos to practical travel information and the booking process. relies on its own trained AI technologies in order to be able to provide its users with a personalised travel experience. Not only information from the internet but above all from established travel agencies and tour operators is obtained order to ensure continuous improvements.