On the first-ever Ctrip Day held on December 11, the leisure travel business unit of Ctrip announced it would extend its platform. The unit outlined 15 major product lines and launched its Version 3.0 system. It would open supply, operation and sales channels to facilitate the business of its travel partners around the world, especially to empower small and micro businesses and individual entrepreneurs.
The 15 product lines are under three categories – packaged travel plans, single-category destination experiences and other support services, according to Mr. Tao Yang, executive vice president of Ctrip and CEO of the leisure travel business unit.
Under this strategy, Ctrip will open up all services, upgrade the franchise threshold and make platform rules more transparent. Tour operators, segmented destination service suppliers and individual service providers will be the targeted users.
Mr. Ruoning Wang, chief product officer of the leisure travel business unit, revealed that the soon-to-launch new system is designed to consolidate the supply chain and enable suppliers. The new version will incorporate a resource-sharing system, a back-end management and operation system, a customer service system and an omni-channel sales system.
In these new systems, partner merchants will gain greater control and support in their operations ranging from product management to pricing, marketing and other functions.
Mr. Yang pointed out that small and micro business comprise about 80% of all tourism operators in the market. Small companies refer to those with less than 100 employees and micro companies employ no more than 10 people. The companies may operate as tour guides, destination chartered drivers, professional travel designers, offline franchised stores. These small businesses are short of customer sources and funding support, and they also lack systems and specialization. Individual sellers are in need of support in branding, product inventory and systems.
In answer to their issues, Ctrip is offering these businesses and entrepreneurs a wider range of options.
Ctrip's Customized Travel platform has more than 5,000 travel planners from more than 1,500 suppliers, and its transaction volume has increased by more than 120% in 2018 so far.
Store owners will also be presented with new opportunities, as Ctrip expects to turn over 10 billion yuan from its high street stores this year.
In 2019, Ctrip plans to increase the number of its branded stores from 1,700 to 3,000 across counties and county-level cities, and to have more than 8,000 stores branded Ctrip, Qunar and Traveling Bestone, giving it the broadest offline sales avenues in the tourism industry.