Outbound travel boom in China fuels surge in global firm deals
Online booking platforms for shared accommodation have ramped up efforts to cooperate with global partners and expand their presences in overseas markets to cash in on the growing number of outbound travelers.
Home-sharing company Xiaozhu Inc announced a global partnership with online booking platform Agoda, a member of Booking Holdings, in March, and a strategic partnership with Alibaba Group's travel brand Fliggy in May to expand its global network, share properties and promote post-pay services.
Xiaozhu and Agoda will collaborate in areas including listings, technology and service innovation, branding and marketing, thus leveraging their expertise in different markets, to innovate homestay and home-sharing experiences for global consumers.
Founded in 2012, Xiaozhu now has over 500,000 listings in more than 650 destinations around the world, according to the company.
According to the data center of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 131 million Chinese tourists traveled overseas in 2017. Their total consumption stood at $115.3 billion, making China the largest source of outbound tourists, in terms of trips and spending, for the fifth year in a row.
Tujia.com, another lodging-service sharing and booking platform, is chasing the rapidly growing number of Chinese people traveling overseas to popular destinations in Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea. In the past few years, its overseas business has grown five times on average every year.
The company is currently seeking a fresh round of funding, in part to help expand its overseas products and properties.
Tujia set up a small team in Japan in 2016. It plans to boost its presence in Japan to take advantage of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Last year, it teamed up with Rakuten Lifull Stay, an e-commerce company in Japan, for a bigger presence in the Japanese homestay market.
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