Tuniu.com's packaging business is seeing triple-digit volume growth with organized tours more popular than self-guided trips.
Its Q3 earnings statement was released a few hours after it announced HNA Tourism Group was investing $500 million into the business and Tuniu would get access to HNA inventory "at a preferential rate under fair competitive market rules" as part of a co-operation agreement.
Talking to analysts on the earnings call, CFO Conor Yang said that the co-operation would give Tuniu access to all of HNA's airlines. This will inevitably ramp up Tuniu's access to the air component of its packages business, with Yang adding that the tie-up with HNA would not impact its existing partnership with China's other airlines.
But Tuniu's packaging business is already growing at a triple-digit rate, with the Q3s revealing volumes down to the last customer while breaking the product down into organized and self-guided tours.
For organized tours the number was up 142.1% year-on-year to 635,555 in the three months to end-Sept. This figure is separate from "local" tours (which were up by 66% to 633,051) but it is not clear whether this is an international/domestic breakdown.
The total of self-guided tours in the quarter was up 181.8% year-over-year to 369,719.
So while the attention post-HNA is clearly on the packages side of the business, Tuniu's deal earlier this year with e-commerce platform JD.com is also starting to deliver on a standalone basis. Tuniu is the exclusive provider of travel products for JD.com.
It was also keen to talk up its financial services product business which includes loans for consumers and suppliers alike.
It has also ramped up the footprint of it offline service centres, opening another 55 outlets in the quarter, giving it a total of 130 across China.