According to the data of Ctrip's Tourism Channel Department, its high street stores have recorded a transaction volume of more than RMB 70 million (USD 10.24 million) in a single day, which is 60% higher than the peak trading period of last summer. About 80% of store customers are first-time users.
James Liang, Ctrip's co-founder and executive chairman, said that there is still a large market share for offline stores and that Ctrip will grow its presence in third- and fourth-tier cities after his visits to the stores in several cities.
A Ctrip store in Chongqing, a major city in southwest China, netted up to RMB 710,000 in July, with over 2,000 store visitors. Some 80% of the customers are tourists from various parts of the country, and they chose face-to-face consultation for local tickets, one-day tours, entertainment and other products because of their affinity with the Ctrip brand.
Such stores are classified as "destination stores" by Ctrip. They target non-local tourists, and they’re scattered around major cities across China. Destination stores are different from “departure stores” that are specifically for native travelers.
Offline stores sell different products. “One of the most notable differences is that we can enable customers to join a wide range of tours at destinations and departure points, which give travelers more choices and flexible timing. Independent tours and customized travels are also available at Ctrip stores”, Li Zhang, general manager of the Tourism Channel Department said, adding that Ctrip stores even sell simple products such as one-night accommodation, WiFi access, day tours or airport pick-up services.
Mr. Zhang expected transactions of the stores in third- and fourth-tier cities will account for the bulk of Ctrip’s offline transactions in 2018.
Ctrip expects to have 8,000 stores across China by the end of this year, expanding on the basis of 7,000 offline points of sale branded Ctrip, Qunar and Traveling Bestone.