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Tourism giant focuses more on customers' needs

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-01 08:19

More travel packages exclusively targeting mothers with children and senior-aged travelers are expected to hit the market soon.

The Jiangsu-based online travel agency Tongcheng Network Technology will put together such products as part of its strategy to focus more on consumer needs and develop products targeting specific age groups.

The whole travel industry is likely to pay more attention to customer types, instead of their numbers, in the future year, says Tongcheng's founder and CEO Wu Zhixiang. He spoke at a CEO summit focusing on the new economy in Beijing on April 15.

Roughly 20 CEOs of major business players, such as the bike-sharing company Ofo Inc, the group-buying provider Meituan, and live-streaming powerhouse Yixia Tech, attended the meeting to discuss future moves in their market.

Most agreed that business, especially start-ups, will shift focus from resources to products and ultimately to consumer experience.

When that happens, Wu says, "traveler's needs in tourism consumption will be better satisfied".

At the moment, travel products are mostly offered indiscriminately to customers without targeting or tailoring for age groups.

"You'll face the same product whether you are a mother who is taking your child with you or middle-aged or senior traveler," Wu explains.

He believes that travel products and services exclusively for travelers of specific classes will be available in the next 18 years.

For mother-and-children customers, travel packages should cater to the needs of mothers, while helping children expand their vision and grow along the way, Wu explains.

"It's about totally redesigning our products and integrating customer needs with our understanding of the industry," Wu says.

The travel agency set up a special club for elder clients in September 2016, and the number of members has grown at 300 percent month-on-month ever since.

Members have now spread across 160 cities nationwide.

The club has launched a series of customized tours for seniors since the end of last year.

In addition to health checks and travel insurance, "second honeymoon" trips to rekindle old flames have also been developed.

The ultimate goal is to meet the elder customers' needs in travel, leisure and social life and create a happy community for them, according to Wu.

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