Tripadvisor has added more details about its plans for China and its new Chinese brand Mao Tu Ying.
In May TripAdvisor announced plans to drop DaoDao in China in favour of Mao Tu Ying.
A press conference in Beijing, hosted by CEO Steve Kaufer, formalised the announcement and added some more details. One significant update is that Tripadvisor (as the parent company) has linked up with the government's China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).
The deal will see TripAdvisor’s global review content added to the CNTA site.
Elsewhere, it is crowdsourcing the "passionate Tripadvisor community" to increase the volume of Chinese language reviews by getting users to translate submissions made in English and other languages.
The reviews will help populate a new website and app for China, slated to launch in July.
The translated content will broaden the reach of the destinations covered, although Tripadvisor is already getting a lot of reviews written in Chinese - it said that over the past twelve months Chinese users worldwide logged in more than 84 million times and that the number of Chinese language reviews published in May 2015 was nearly five times as high as the same month last year.
The plan is to extensively market Mao Tu Ying in China using the tagline "Experience the world through different perspectives." Billboard and airport advertising will be used, as well as a social media campaign on WeChat.
Kaufer talked about Tripadvisor's new approach to China in a medium-to-long-term context. He noted that by 2020 one in five international travellers will be Chinese, ramping up the need for dedicated content and reviews.
But Tripadvisor is also aware that Chinese travel patterns will change over time - most international trips are taken in big groups while people who are currently travelling independently tend to follow the same itinerary as the pre-packaged crowd.
But in the future "we believe that as Chinese travellers become increasingly sophisticated and tech savvy, they will want to make their own holiday decisions, and seek more authentic, unique experiences when they travel," again, playing into TripAdvisor's hands.
One of the many things to watch about Tripadvisor's Chinese relaunch is the extent to which its transactional channels will be introduced. Instant Booking is slowly taking off outside China, and over time Tripadvisor could be yet another player in the hyper-competitive Chinese online travel market.