Ctrip 300 million registered users will have access to personalised experiences from AccorHotels' brands following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two companies.
A statement describes the partnerships as a "milestone" for both companies and says it will focus on four strategic pillars:
- highlighting AccorHotels accredited hotels more prominently
- building a flagship store for AccorHotels
- joint development of loyalty programs
- cooperation on IT.
CEO Sebastien Bazin says the company is also launching a program to train at least 250 hotels in the next two years on how to best meet Chinese guest expectations.
This is not the first time a major hotel player has forged deeper ties with a China-based intermediary giant. Alibaba and Marriott announced a joint venture in mid-2017 to manage the Chinese language digital channels for the hotel group.
Similar to the AccorHotels-Ctrip statement, the Marriott JV talks of enhancing the experience for Chinese travellers and "customised content and promotions."
Ctrip released a report earlier this month signalling 2017 as the beginning of the "popularization of customized" travel in China.
The company launched its Customized Travel platform in 2016 and says demand is growing. The report, released with China Outbound Tourism Research Institute highlights some of the current trends:
- 40% of customized travel is for outbound travel, of which Europe makes up 10%. With a year-on-year growth of 130%, Europe is seeing increasing Chinese travellers choosing personalized as well as themed experiences.
- Ctrip’s data reveals more than six million Chinese made their first entry to Europe in 2017.
- Females travel more than males and 23% of total outbound tourists to Europe are aged 50 and over.
It seems as if Ctrip is ramping up its reach currently with interesting deals, especially in Europe. struck with Scotland-based tour operator Rabbie's. It also announced the opening of its first call-centre outside China, a facility in Edinburgh to help Chinese tourists while on overseas trips.
AccorHotels CEO on China, partnerships and the unknown