Wanda makes first OTA investment with US$577 million in LY.com
Wanda Culture Industry Group has injected RMB3.58 billion in its first OTA investment - LY.com, as part of Wanda Tourism’s ‘online +’ O2O strategy.
ChinaTravelNews – Wanda Culture Industry Group has injected RMB3.58 billion (approx: US$577 million) in LY.com in a joint investment with Tencent Collaboration Fund, CITC Capital and other investors that generated a total investment of over RMB6 billion (approx: US$967 million) for the OTA.
Established in 2004, LY.com is China’s leading online leisure travel service that claims absolute dominance of domestic attractions admission booking. It has enjoyed rapid growth in its services that range from weekend trips to outbound travel, and saw 100% growth in the number of customers that topped 30 million in 2014.
Following the investment, Wanda Culture will form a comprehensive strategic partnership with LY.com and will open online channels between LY.com and Wanda Tourism to share resources. The investment will help LY.com gain a massive amount of destinations resources to bolster its transaction volume and will improve its position in the travel industry.
Wanda Group’s Chairman Jianlin Wang said: “LY.com is Wanda Group’s first OTA investment, part of Wanda Tourism’s ‘online +’ strategy, that is necessary to achieve the company’s O2O transition. Wanda Group has the richest tourism resources in China’s travel industry with over 12 Wanda Cultural Tourism Park projects currently under construction and another eight projects planned for the future. We expect to become the largest travel company in the world with around 200 million annual visits to Wanda parks by 2020. Wanda Tourism is already one of the biggest tourism companies in China, with annual revenue growing at a rate of over 50%, and holds a clear advantage in offline channels. Wanda Tourism will now gain an online platform by investing in LY.com to add to its offline channels and large-scale attractions that will make it the only global O2O tourism business and contribute to the transformation of China’s tourism industry.”
LY.com’s founder and CEO Zhixiang Wu said: “We are very pleased to receive Wanda Group’s investment and will fully cooperate to better develop resources and jointly promote Wanda Group’s ‘online +’ model with each of its tour operator, Wanda Cultural Tourism Park and offline businesses. LY.com will continue to make improvements to user experience and branding, mobile apps, research and big data markets to secure a leading position in the leisure travel market.”(Translation by David)