UTour acquires 13 stores to expand its retail travel in Suzhou
UTour taps Xingzhou International Travel’s competitiveness in Suzhou to make up for its own lackluster performance in its Suzhou retailing business through the collaboration.
UTour Group and Xingzhou International Travel Service sealed a strategic cooperation deal in Suzhou on October 17. Following the deal, Xingzhou International Travel Service has been renamed as Suzhou UTour-Xingzhou International Travel Service. Xinye Zheng, the former general manager of Xingzhou, will serve as general manager of UTour-Xingzhou.
Strengthening retailing business in Suzhou
Xingzhou owns three subsidiaries – Xinghe, Jiuqian and Lanyu. Xinghe focuses on corporate travel and has served up to 1,090 companies in 2016; Jiuqian specializes in visa services and handles 10,000 visa applications every year; Lan Yu is a high-end service brand offering custom outbound travels since its founding in 2015, and has designed products like self-drive and photography tours in the US, honeymoon in Greece, self-drive in Iceland and Antarctic expedition. At present, Xingzhou runs 13 stores in Suzhou.
Tourism has become a pillar industry in Suzhou and has drawn increasing attention in the retail sector. Suzhou’s tourism industry netted revenues of RMB 115.7 billion during the first half of 2017, according to Suzhou Daily. As Xingzhou enjoys all-rounded competitiveness in Suzhou, UTour is keen to leverage Xingzhou’s strengths to make up for its lackluster progress in the Suzhou retail travel sector.
Strategic store expansion in East China
The existing 13 Xingzhou stores will be integrated into UTour after the acquisition, increasing the number of UTour stores in East China to nearly 40.
UTour began to build up its presence in East China in 2016, and has built strong brand power thanks to the offline push. So far, UTour has established a network of 26 stores in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing.