Utour partners Golden International to dig deeper into the US market
Utour has made a strategic investment in Golden International Air and Travel, known for its strength in handing independent travel and bus travel in the US.
ChinaTravelNews – Utour has made a strategic investment in Golden International Air and Travel, known for its strength in handing independent travel and bus travel in the US. The investment paves for way for Utour to take root in the tourism destination market in the US.
The partnership will also form the basis for mapping out Utour’s footholds among the products and suppliers as well as OTA channels, through strategic investments. The move is also expected to help it get closer to the supplies of transportation, hotel operations, attractions and tour products. The goal is to build Utour’s comprehensive O2O presence in North America for enhancing the development of its lifestyle platform.
The implementation of the more favorable US visa policy for China in end 2014, including the introduction of 10-year multiple entry business visa, has brought forth major development opportunities for outbound travel to the US. In 2014, US received 2 million Chinese visitors. The growth of China’s outbound traffic to the US is expected to steadily speed up, and the US will become a major outbound destination for Chinese travelers.
As such, Utour is training its sight on capitalizing on the outbound growth potential by building up its core resources, products and services. It will establish a foothold in the US by building a team knowledgeable of local resources, markets and travelers’ needs, and able to implement localized and internationalized operations.
Utour intends to get into partnerships with companies that have an edge in independent operations of procurement and sales channels, that identify with Utour’s corporate culture, and are able to share resources with Utour so as complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Utour’s partner Golden International is headquartered in Los Angeles and operated by local Chinese residents or ethnic Chinese. The company's management is experienced in the managing international companies and is familiar with the US culture. The tour guides are fluent in English and Chinese, enabling the company to operate locally and internationally.
It is a leading specialist travel company in western USA for land operation of tour products and services for independent travelers. Golden International boasts a diverse range of independent travel products with itineraries covering various western cities and day trips to popular destinations on the west coast.
Golden International has been directly buying tourism resources, based on its understanding of the local market and its ongoing expansion network, and has established strong procuring muscles. It has particular strength in hotel supplies in Yellowstone Park.
Golden International has established good ongoing relationships with OTAs as well as offline retail agents both in the US and in China. It has been strengthening its B2B sales capacity. The end users of its products are not only from China but also from North America, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, Europe and India.
In their partnership, the companies will strength resources supplies and product design to enhance the competitiveness of their products and create product differentiation.
Utour will also share resources and channels with Golden International, and introduce more travel products integrated with Golden’s local tours to meet personalized and niche demands.
Utour will use Golden International as the platform to provide more unique land operating service as well as destination lifestyle services in order to improve retention of tourists and agents, and in turn win more customers, lift market share and enhance their mutual strength and core competitiveness in the market.
Utour has been making frequent moves in enhancing its destination lifestyle platform, having invested in Germany’s pioneering destination travel company Kai Yuan, The World’s 99 that boasts an edge in integrating operation of fragmented independent travel, and Club Med, a joint investment with Fosun. Utour has also taken equity in a local hotel in Paris as part of its efforts to develop the lifestyle platform in Europe.
Utour’s investment in Golden International is yet another move in the US after it worked together with Net 236 to develop the potential of travel communications in North America. The move is another effort in building a US destination lifestyle platform and adds value to its US-bound travel products and services. (Translation by Shuk)