How China’s Online Travel Agencies Dominate the Chinese Travel Market.

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As the Internet becomes an indispensable part of people’s lives, consumption patterns are constantly changing. Online shopping offers the consumer a wide range of commodities, allowing for more opportunities for businesses to turn a profit. As a result, an increasing number of industries have begun to invest in setting up their online services to get their share of the competitive market.

2015 Online Travel Agencies market share in China

In 2015, the travel industry, particularly online travel agencies, stood out as one of the fastest growing sectors moving online. Online Travel Agencies provide consumers online access to travel and leisure platforms, allowing them to book flights, hotels and vacation packages.

Online Travel Agencies provide consumers online access to travel and leisure platforms, allowing them to book flights, hotels and vacation packages: Ctrip owns the largest market share (57.1%)

China’s top OTAs. Ctrip owns the largest market share (57.1%)

Ctrip, and eLong dominate this market, but there are plenty of players looking to take their top spots away, offering a mix of niche travel destinations built for all manner of budgets, to complex travel planning tools and travel guides.

Connecting with audiences via Key Opinion Leaders

The best way to connect with targeted audiences in China is via Key Opinion Leaders. Ctrip’s strategic choice of their main brand ambassador, Deng Chao, plays a big role in connecting with China’s young travelers.

dengchao

Reaching China’s consumers using poplar key opinion leaders.

Deng Chao is a well known Chinese TV and film actor and director has many fans on Weibo, with an average engagement rate of 20k per post. Through working with KOLs like Deng Chao, the brand reaches a wide range of young consumers looking to travel the world. Working with the right KOLs helps Ctrip stay ahead of the competition.

In this campaign, Qunar invited Xu Jing (an Internet celebrity known as Miss Layla) as a “tester”. They shot impressive images of her during her trip and posted them on Weibo. In this post, she says that she feels extremely lucky girl for having the chance to travel around the world.

Qunar campaign featuring internet celebrity Xu Jing

Ctrip isn’t the only one to use KOLs; the competition uses the same strategies. In the above campaign, Qunar invited Xu Jing (an Internet celebrity known as Miss Layla) to travel the world to different beautiful locales. They shot impressive images of her during her trip and posted them on Weibo. In the above post, she says that she feels extremely lucky girl for having the chance to travel around the world.

These campaigns stimulate the travel market, drive interest from China’s netizens and increase buzz and engagement on the idea of adventure past China’s borders. Check out China Online Travel Trend Report to find out more about China’s online ecosystem of travel agencies. For more information about how companies have been exploring the promising Chinese travel market, download the Airfrance Digital Report, Singapore Airlines Campaign Report, and Airbnb Digital Report from Resonance China.

Edited by Rand Han


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About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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