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Tujia.com is ramping up its overseas play

By Fan Feifei | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-15 07:41
Chinese tourists walk past the Louvre Pyramid outside the Louvre Museum in Paris. [Photo/Agencies]

Tujia.com, a Chinese online platform for booking shared accommodation, has ramped up efforts to expand its presence in overseas markets.

Tujia data showed bookings for outbound travel by Chinese users grew more than tenfold year-on-year in the first half.

Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea have seen rapid growth in the number of Chinese tourists. Besides, European countries are favored by Chinese travelers, with the farthest tourist destination in the region being Iceland.

Cambodia was the fastest-growing tourist destination for Chinese sightseers in the first half, with a straggering increase of 3,400 percent year-on-year.

In China, the top 10 tourism destinations were first- and second-tier cities, with Chengdu topping the list, followed by Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Xiamen.

To cater to Chinese travelers, Tujia lists more than 1.2 million homes across 400 Chinese cities and 1,037 overseas destinations. It offers apartments, homestays, villas and other travel services ranging from family tours, business travel, vacations, team-building tours to short-term transitional renting.

"Demand for home-sharing services appears to be linked to China's consumption upgrade. Compared with hotels, homes offer larger space and well-equipped facilities," said Yang Changle, COO of Tujia. "A homestay is more cost-effective, bringing leisure experiences for people in urban areas."

According to the Data Center of the China National Tourism Administration, 131 million Chinese tourists traveled overseas in 2017. Their consumption reached $115.3 billion, making China the largest source of international tourists, in terms of trips and spending, for the fifth year running.

Unsurprisingly, Tujia is targeting the rapidly growing outbound Chinese travelers. In the last few years, its overseas business has grown five times on average every year.

Tujia set up a small team in Japan in 2016. It plans to boost its presence in Japan to take advantage of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Last year, it teamed up with Rakuten Lifull Stay, an e-commerce company in Japan, to expand Japan's homestay market.

In January, Tujia acquired Fishtrip, a Taiwan province-based bed-and-breakfast or B&B booking platform. The move added about 300,000 quality overseas properties to its listings.

Fishtrip marked Tujia's first foray into overseas homestay market. It had acquired Mayi and the homestay businesses of both Ctrip and Qunar in China last year. Its strategy reflects its increasing appetite for overseas B&B business, trade analysts said.

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