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Tongcheng Travel showcases APAC expansion plans at ITB Asia


The online travel company seeks to extend partnerships in the Asia-Pacific, targeting especially non-first-tier cities and younger travelers.

SINGAPORE – The Chinese online travel company, Tongcheng Travel Holdings Limited made its debut at ITB Asia where it showcased its rich product offerings and comprehensive services to global travel practitioners. The company leverages Singapore’s position as a regional hub to extend partnerships with more suppliers, hotels, and travel agencies to accelerate the expansion in Asia-Pacific and provide Chinese consumers with more comprehensive outbound travel packages and experiences.

Asia, especially East and Southeast Asia, has always been a target travelling destination for Tongcheng Travel,” said Li Liang, Senior VP of Tongcheng Travel and CEO of Accommodation and Local Consumption Businesses. “Participating in ITB Asia enables us to explore expansion in Singapore and neighboring countries and regions, and further build partnerships with quality hotel suppliers across the Asian region and further,” he added.

China was one of the world’s leading consumers in outbound tourism before the pandemic. With the remarkable recovery of the outbound travel market, the changing development trends and travelers’ preferences have attracted the attention of major travel companies worldwide. In particular, the rising demand and consumption power from users in non-first-tier cities in China are becoming the driving force behind the recovery of tourism spending. As international air travel continues to normalize with expanded coverage, facilitating more convenient traveling from non-first-tier cities in China, the demand for outbound travel is expected to rise further.

We see optimistic growth potential in China’s outbound travel market,” added Li Liang. “As airline capacity and destination supply chains gradually recover, China’s outbound travel market is poised for further growth. Tongcheng Travel has already served millions of travelers in China, especially in non-first-tier cities where we have a competitive edge. This positions us well to capitalize on the opportunities in the outbound travel market.”

As of the second quarter of 2023, approximately 87% of Tongcheng Travel’s registered users resided in non-first-tier cities in China. About 70% of its paying users on the Weixin platform came from lower tier cities during the same period. With its solid market position in these areas, the Company is well-positioned to capitalize on China’s outbound travel boom.

Younger users are becoming the dominant force in China’s outbound market. Users born after the 90s now make up over 50% of outbound travel spending. The new generation of travelers, known as the Gen-z, is accustomed to digital life and booking travel online. They prefer free and independent travel and make bookings through Weixin and mobile applications.

Tongcheng Travel has launched a series of products and services tailored to Chinese outbound travelers and overseas Chinese. To satisfy demand from young travelers seeking “unique” and “exploratory” trips, Tongcheng Travel has offered customized packages for Jay Chou’s “Carnival World Tour 2023” in Bangkok. These packages bundle accommodation, airport transfers and limousine and concert ticketing into a one-stop concert travel experience.

Presently, Tongcheng Travel provides online accommodation reservation services for approximately 390,000 hotels and alternative accommodation options in over 380 cities in China through multiple channels such as its mobile application, Weixin-based mini-program and website. It also covers around 790,000 hotels and alternative accommodations in more than 10,000 overseas destinations.

George Diamantopoulos
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George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.