ChinaTravelNews – Travel specialist to visa-free destinations Tripvip has received a RMB6 million (approx. US$958,405) angel investment from Pingan Ventures after only six months of operation.
Visa-free destinations are among the most popular destinations for Chinese travelers – seven of the top ten countries ranked most satisfactory by Chinese travelers are visa free, and short-haul visa-free destinations like Bangkok, Chiangmai, Phuket, Bali and the Maldives are among the top ten in terms of hotel booking volume.
Tripvip CEO Tingran He said online travel companies are shifting from one-dimensional all-encompassing style of business to embracing the “less is more” concept and leveraging product diversity as a key to development.
Tripvip’s product selection is based on customer behavior analysis. “Our analyses show that users face multiple challenges such as planning an itinerary before leaving and arranging it during their trips,” Ms. He [S1] said. To compensate for this Tripvip has a 12-tier indexed selection model and a two-tier selection process for ticket and hotel bookings.
She also pointed out that Tripvip staff use an interactive selection method instead of making one-sided recommendations to users. “Individualization is the hallmark of the service model offered to users with product managers serving as facilitators,” she said.
The online travel market heated up in the beginning of 2014 with startups like Haiwan and Maitian Club receiving major investments. The niche markets focus on weak links in major players like Ctrip and Qunar for their vertical expansion. The slew of investments attracted by these startups is a sign that startups are developing vertically, not only in operations but also in target customers.
“The active development of vertical market segments reflects the overall industry trend,” Ms. He said. “It doesn’t mean the online travel market is disorganized but that numerous business models can coexist alongside each other. It means there is plenty of opportunities for all to innovate,” she said.(Translation by David)