Travelzoo Asia Pacific launched Local Deals in China as it tries to stand out amidst the clamor of more than 1,000 group-buying sites in the country.
A licensee of Travelzoo controlled by Ralph Bartel, the founder of both companies, Travelzoo Asia Pacific's China site, Travelzoo Lv You Zu (roughly translating to Travelzoo travel community) already publishes its Top 20 newsletter for China and now is expanding into Local Deals for hotel stays and lifestyle and entertainment offerings.
As with Travelzoo and sibling Travelzoo Asia Pacific, the companies state that their Local Deals stand out because of their high quality. Says Travelzoo Asia Pacific CEO Jason Yap:
Travelzoo Lv You Zu applies the same stringent deal selection and approval process to Local Deals. Our focus on high quality deals, like in the rest of the world, serves as an impetus to the discerning Chinese consumers, to experience what they might have previously not considered.
The deals in China take in spas, fine dining and luxury getaways, Yap says.
But, there are twists to marketing Local Deals to consumers in China with Yap noting that "Chinese consumers have different preferences in travel destinations and the type of holidays."
If you can generalize, Travelzoo Lv You Zu's China subscribers, whose earnings are three times higher than the national average, tend to "embrace prestigious brands and trust the brand attributes."
Theme holidays are big, too.
In a Travelzoo survey, Chinese consumers ranked beach holidays, well-being vacations, shopping and sightseeing as their favorite vacation types.
The China site is integrated PayEase, which processes payments when consumers use Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCP debit cards and Union Pay, for example, Yap says.
PayEase states it is connected to 98% of the banks in China and supports the 4 international credit cards and 60 other domestic credit cards and debit cards.
If consumers are having problems entering their credit card details, they are instructed to call customer service from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the site says.
And, Travelzoo Lv You Zu has a dedicated team in Shanghai doing customer service for Local Deals.
Trial Local Deals involved Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai hotel and JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa with the site introducing "deals from quality merchants worldwide to China," Yap says.
Only time will tell if Travelzoo Lv You Zu can crack the China market and stand out from throngs of group-buying competitors.
Travelzoo Asia Pacific is an independent company, but a family affair, as Travelzoo's businesses in Asia Pacific were sold to get the money-losing businesses off the books as they were in investment and growth mode. In this way, they would cease to drag down the value of Travelzoo's stock.