HHTravel, a company run under Ctrip, is at the forefront of guest sourcing in the Chinese market and focusing on high-end clientele, according to the 2018 Expedition Market Report.
Doreen Lin oversees cruise and Antarctica offerings out of a Shanghai office, she said the expedition market in China was growing at a phenomenal rate.
"For the four-month Antarctica season, which is the bulk of our expedition market, we used to offer 12 sailings per month in 2015 when we started. This past season, we were selling 29 sailings per month," Lin said.
In addition, this past season, Fliggy, a subsidiary of Alibaba specializing in online travel bookings, chartered four Antarctica sailings and sourced around 2,000 Chinese passengers in total. It plans to charter five sailings in 2019 and grow sourcing by 25%.
"70% of our cruise business is expedition," she said, "and it’s almost all to Antarctica, although we are seeing customers now looking at sailings in Iceland, the Arctic, the Galapagos and coastal Norway. These are clients who have already done Antarctica and are looking for something new,"said Lin.
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