During this year’s National Day Holiday over 100 thousand tour trips were booked with Ctrip. Among these tours the number booked through mobile app have increased by 51 times.
Data shows that customers in the major cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are more accustomed to booking tours online but this year saw faster growth in users from second and third tier cities. Nanchang had a 687% increase in users while Haikou was 435% and Tianjin had a 355% increase.
Travelers who purchase tours online place more importance in on the flexibility of the product when choosing a tour package. Booking for private tours with minimum of two persons have doubled this year. During this year’s National Day Holiday a new type of tour where travelers can choose their own mode of transportation to the destination and then join the tour group for sightseeing in destination, has had an over 100% increase in bookings.
With consumers flocking to mobile apps traditional tour operators are also joining the ranks of online tour operators. They are forming large scale tour operator alliances to leverage brand power and a well-established platform to attract customers. During this year’s National Day Holiday Ctrip’s online tour operator products offered products from 82 departure cities and 357 global destinations which is double the numbers of last year.
Currently we haven’t seen a single successful case yet of a traditional tour operator transitioning to e-commerce. As a result they must form partnerships with major OTAs where each party can utilize their own strengths. Traditional tour operators can provide products, resources, and services while online platforms can provide online distribution channels and advertising. Ctrip is not just looking at the short-term profit of its platform but rather it is working to assist the long-term business of its tour operator partners and increase the quality of service. This way Ctrip and its tour operator partners can both benefit. (Translation by David)