Here are China’s top tourism business news that you need to know from this week:
Ctrip Launches First Travel Concept Store in Dubai International Airport
As a part of China-UAE Travel Week, Ctrip has successfully launched its first travel concept store in Dubai International Airport. The travel concept store provides in-destination products and one-stop online and offline services, including travel guidance and consultation, transportation, catering, and shopping information for Chinese tourists. The store will have on-site staff to provide 24-hours service in Chinese, English and Arabic. Read here for more (English).
- Mailman X’s Take: Other than offering a 360 degree service for Chinese tourists and Ctrip customers alike, we think that this concept store is a solid marketing initiative from Ctrip Group to promote Trip.com. Acquired recently, the Trip.com brand is the bridgehead for Ctrip’s international expansion of the global tourism market and this looks like it’s continued effort for global penetration.
Summer Camps in High Demand
Private training centers and local public schools often hold back-to-back classes designed to keep kids preoccupied between July and September. Camps can be daily, weekend or in some cases overseas camping trips. One camp education firm which operates camping programs in the US, UK and Russia, have secured more than 20,000 campers in 2018 alone. Click here and here for more (English).
- Mailman X’s Take: With China’s rapid economic development and the ever growing appetite for a better living standard, tourism motivation now expands beyond vacation and leisure. We have seen increasing demand for sports, medical and education tourism in recent years. This has extended beyond campus tours to short term exchange programs and even full summer or winter camps. We believe that this $4.5 billion industry will have huge contributions in changing China’s outbound tourism industry.
Also this week:
Facial Scan Check-In Available in China’s Marriott Properties
Partnering with Alibaba, Marriott International plans to roll out facial recognition software to speed up the checking-in process. Marriott will test out this new feature in two properties (Hangzhou and Sanya), before rolling out on a global scale. The new kiosk will be able to scan and identify guests’ faces, pull up their reservations, and check them in completely autonomously. Find out more here (English).
Alibaba Ties Up with JR Kyushu to Boost Chinese Tourism
Kyushu Railway (JR Kyushu) operates hotels and restaurants, and organizes package tours on the Japanese island. Under this agreement, Alibaba will sell Kyushu Railways’ tour packages, rail tickets and hotel rooms on its travel site Fliggy. In return, JR Kyushu will install Alipay in its group companies and encourages other firms in the region to adopt the payment system. Find out the details here (English).
WeChat Pay to Expand to US
Amid WeChat Pay’s global strategy to provide a more holistic payment system for Chinese tourists, in the second half of this year, WeChat Pay is focusing to explore the US market and connect more merchants to its service. Initially, WeChat will target favourite merchants of Chinese tourists, such as duty free, outlet stores and popular restaurants. Smaller merchants, such as supermarkets, convenience stores, transportation services will be their secondary target. Click here for details (English).
Chinese Visitors to Britain Reach Record High
Visit Britain claims a record high of 337,000 Chinese visitors to the UK in 2017, marking a 29% YoY increase. Chinese tourists expenditures rose by 35%, spending more than $900 million cumulatively. Visitations to London also grew by 4% to 19.8 million, with tourism spending up 14% to a record $17.6 billion. Click here to find out more (English).
Air China Suspends Beijing-Brisbane Route
Due to fleet availability, Air China has suspended direct flights from Beijing to Brisbane. Local authorities claim that the route fuels a key inbound market for Queensland trade and tourism and a vital destination for businessmen. It was initially estimated four flights a week from Beijing would bring 170,000 people to Brisbane over four years, with 35,000 passengers arriving since December 2017. Find out more here (Chinese).