China consumer marketing consultancy China Luxury Advisors have released some new survey research findings on the use" /> David H Boggs Search Marketing Blog: State of online travel shopping and booking in China 2019

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State of online travel shopping and booking in China 2019

16 April 2019

China consumer marketing consultancy China Luxury Advisors have released some new survey research findings on the use of travel shopping and booking platforms in mainland China.


  • Chinese OTA Ctrip is the platform most used for both trip planning and booking.
  • Other popular platforms include:
    • Qunar
    • Tuniu
    • Fliggy
    • Mafengwo
    • LVMama
    • Airbnb
  • In the travel market, more influential in shaping opinions than reviews by friends and family are OTAs and online forums like:
    • Mafengwo
    • Qyer
    • LVMama
  • Top sources of inspiration re travel destinations:
    1. OTAs
    2. Online travel forums
    3. Personal recommendations by friends and family
    4. Posts on social media
    5. Official destination website or social-media account
  • Film and television are still influential, particularly for those traveling to:
    1. Latin America (cited by 73%)
    2. UK (72%)
    3. France (69%)
    4. North America (68%)
  • Chinese travelers are using OTAs like Ctrip and Figgy more than any other resources for booking travel arrangements.



For Western tourism destinations and businesses:

Note the almost total absence from those lists of Western online platforms - the only exception being Airbnb - but the significant influence of film and television on travel to the West - opportunities that spare you the burden and cost of localization and translation. Actionable items:

  • Destinations: Support your state/region/city film board.
  • Businesses: Actively pursue "product placement" in films and videos - online and offline.

Regarding Airbnb - note that:

  • Chinese law re privacy and information disclosure have forced Airbnb to create a dedicated Chinese subsidiary and to store all Chinese data in China.
  • All Airbnb data associated with properties in China are by law shared with the Chinese government, including:
    • Host data: names, addresses, pricing, revenues, etc.
    • Guest data: identities of guests - citizens or foreigners - must be reported to the government within 24 hours of arrival.
  • Airbnb has invited any hosts who are unhappy with these conditions to deactivate their listings.

China is a tough market in which to compete, but with 84M outbound trips to destinations outside Greater China in 2018, it can't be ignored.

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