As the world adapts to the new normal and travel starts to pick up, property managers will need new distribution strategies to get bookings. From getting listed on new channels to adopting alternative pricing models, you’ll be experimenting with lots of tactics that you haven’t considered before.
In this competitive climate, reaching new traveller segments and nationalities will be the key to success. You’ll want as many eyes on your ads as possible.
By getting listed on Trip.com, you’ll be able to target an audience known for its immense buying power: Chinese travellers.
The country where COVID-19 first reared its head, lifted its travel restrictions weeks ago. Chinese travellers are starting to plan their next trips, and most of them will use Trip.com to find vacation rentals to book.
So, let’s take a look at why you should consider adding Trip.com to your distribution mix now.
Trip.com is operated by the Trip.com Group (formerly Ctrip.com International), one of the world’s largest OTAs and parent company of several other brands including Skyscanner. Users can book more than 1.2 million hotels in 200 countries and regions and choose between 2 million individual flight routes connecting more than 5,000 cities around the globe. They can also book trains, car rentals, airport transfers, tours and attraction tickets – and, of course, vacation rentals.
According to Trip.com’s data, around seven million Chinese tourists booked trips using their platform for the Chinese New Year 2019 alone. The website has 20 million daily active users, and 70% earn 12,000 RMB or more a month. The main traveller demographic that uses Trip.com is 20-45-year-olds: a young, aspirational middle-class who prefer to book their own travel experiences instead of group tours.
To gauge how long it will take for consumers to regain their confidence in travel, McKinsey surveyed 1,600 travellers in 8 Chinese cities between April 13 and April 18. The results show that while only 13% of travellers plan to take a trip in the summer months, the travel-recovery peak will arrive by autumn.
Most Chinese travellers (56%) expect to make their next leisure trip between September and October, with a clear uptick around the week-long National Day holiday. Travellers are waiting for announcements from experts and the reopening of schools before they commit to a trip.
The report also found that the first ones to hit the road will be young, single, middle-class and experienced travellers. While most Chinese travellers expect their first trip to be a domestic one, almost a quarter say they’ll go on an international trip. Many (22%) are undecided whether their next trip will take them beyond China’s borders.
Other trends spotted by McKinsey include a focus on scenic attractions, food and family destinations; smaller travel groups; and self-guided trips.
Once Chinese travellers hit the road again in early autumn, the competition for their bookings will be fierce. To stay ahead of the game, you need to advertise your rentals on channels where Chinese travellers search – and what better place than Trip.com, the biggest OTA in China?
Trips in the next three months are generally going to be taken by young, single, middle-class, and experienced travellers, according to the McKinsey survey. Some among this group have already explored local leisure travel postcrisis—31 per cent said that they engaged in intracity leisure travel in April.
Such travel trends were already on the increase before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with more single travellers and small groups of friends on solo trips leaving from China’s airports. Trip.com CEO, Jane Sun, in an interview with McKinsey suggests that the demand for international travel from the Chinese singles market, which was approaching 200m people (although there has been a slight slow down over the past months) is a trend that is expected to continue growing.
Roughly six out of ten Chinese solo travellers are women—heading overseas to off-the-beaten-path destinations such as Europe, Africa, Mexico, Myanmar and Montenegro and are keen to have experiences away from the standard tour-group trail.
Solo and small-group trips have the potential to bring Chinese people and the rest of the world closer together. In the 2020s prepare to meet a generation of travel-savvy, multilingual Chinese millennials, keen to broaden their perspectives.
If you are interested in reaching this traveller segment we would suggest making your booking and payment methods mobile-friendly. Smartphones have become the primary device to research, book and pay for Chinese travellers of all ages, but especially younger travellers.
Chinese travellers want new experiences and are travelling further afield, staying away longer and spending more money. This trend has been on the increase for a while and Europe, North America and Australia are their favourite destinations.
According to the IHG whitepaper, the number of trips taken on average by Chinese travellers in 2019 was 3.9, but there has been an increase in travellers staying abroad for longer the further they travel from home. Millennials typically travel slightly more, with 4 trips for post-90s and 4.2 for post-80s.
Exploring further, the Chinese traveller’s length of stay is beginning to increase, typically they used to stay around two to three nights, but we are beginning to see an increase to around 8-9 nights, especially in cities. This could in part be due to bleisure. The combination of business travel with leisure has also become more popular, according to statistics 62% of Chinese travellers are already turning business into bleisure trips. This is particularly strong in long-haul destinations such as Australia, Europe and the United States. The USA is the most common destination for bleisure, while Germany was ranked number one as a bleisure destination in EMEA, especially for millennials.
When it comes to travelling, Chinese tourists tend to spend more than travellers from most other countries. For the past seven years, China has been the world’s biggest travel spender, and travel from China is set to soar again.
Until the new millennium, overseas travel from China was a luxury available only to a privileged few. According to a Skift report, in 2008 Chinese residents made 45m foreign trips, and by 2018 this had risen by an astonishing 260% to 162m. In the 2020s this number is due to double again as passport ownership in China increases from the current 10% of the population to an expected 20%.
With more of the Chinese population travelling, there will be an increase in spending. According to our internal data, while Chinese travellers book the average number of nights compared to other countries, they’re the third country with the highest price per night (after Saudi Arabia and the USA).
If you have luxury rentals in your portfolio, you don’t want to miss out on high-value bookings made by Chinese travellers. According to the Trip.com report, women, couples and those in the 31-40 age group were the most likely demographics to book high-value packages. The top 10 most popular destinations were Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Maldives, USA, Australia, France, Singapore, UAE and Italy.
Get listing your properties on Trip.com, you’ll get them in front of an audience with a tremendous amount of buying power. If you are interested in discovering more about how Trip.com can boost your bookings. Book a free demo with one of our vacation rental specialists here.