China / Society

Online travel services cash-in on exam

( Updated: 2014-12-16 15:19

When administrators for China's national exam for public-servant positions released information on Nov 24, there was a big rush of adrenaline — for the travel industry.

Chinese travel search engine and online search engine company Sogou Inc recently hosted a press conference in Beijing to release the data of their U-top (Understand, touch-point, observe and promote) promotion during the 2014 national public servant exam that ended on Nov 30.

According to, about 200,000 users logged in the website from Sogou search engine to look for and book hotels from Nov 17 to 30. The individual visits, the number of orders and the order-conversion rate of the website peaked on Nov 24.

"Our cooperation based on big data is a new trial and very strategic. The overall data shows that we've seized the opportunity of the national exam to do promotion at the best time," said Zhou Qiang, vice-president of

He said about 1.4 million people applied for the exam and many are in their senior years at university, about to enter the society. They're an important group of Internet users and the website's tourism customers.

The two companies aimed to offer the best experience for the candidates after big-data analysis, such as offering hotel information near the places where travelers were going to take the exam.

According to Sogou's data, about 75 percent of the candidates are from 19 to 30 years old, 60 percent are males, and more than 90 percent have a bachelor's degree or above. They have broad interests, and travel and food are their primary hobbies.

Previous data showed some candidates think it's better to have a good sleep at a hotel and eat well, in order to perform well in the exam. Therefore, Sogou promoted the hotels on on its search engine to connect these hotel seekers with the services of

The data showed huge demand for hotels in cities such as Changsha, Zhengzhou and Jinan, so worked in advance to guarantee available rooms for candidates.

"It's important to know about the youngsters' demand and characteristics and then give them the proper information. Search engines should make the best use of big data," said Hong Tao, vice-president of Sogou Inc.

The two companies will continue their cooperation and reach out to those who will participate in the second interview of the national exam after three months.

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