Hospitality industry experts said home-sharing services are now penetrating third-and fourth-tier cities, and rural areas, such as Tonglu county, East China's Zhejiang province, and across China. That marks glad tidings for the development of rural tourism, which is now seen as the key to rural economic growth and poverty alleviation.
Xiaozhu data showed homestay bookings related to third-and fourth-tier cities and rural areas increased the most in the first half of this year. In July, Xiaozhu teamed up with Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission to promote shared accommodation in villages so as to boost rural tourism.
In February, Airbnb announced a partnership with the Yanqing Tourism Committee in Beijing, as part of its efforts to promote home-sharing services and boost tourism in Yanqing.
Last year, the company launched the Guilin Rural Community Tourism Program. Through the partnership with the Guilin Tourism Development Committee, Airbnb will train local families in Jinjiang village on home-sharing, hospitality standards and digital literacy.
Tujia data showed party bookings for homes with four to five bedrooms increased over 60% year-on-year between July 2017 and June this year, with big demand coming from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Chengdu.
It has also ramped up efforts to expand its presence in overseas markets, with outbound travel by Chinese users on its platform grew more than tenfold year-on-year in the first half. To cater to Chinese travelers, Tujia lists more than 1.2 million homes across 400 Chinese cities and 1,037 overseas destinations.
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