Travel "Online" to "Offline"


Today we'll talk about some tycoons of the travel business. For instance, Expedia has always bet on eLong which was bought by Ctrip just in one year;, which has always been highly considered by Baidu, still suffered great losses during last year; Finally, it comes to the end of three major forces. Ctrip does not even represent such a big winner, since Baidu won a place in this industry at no costs.

Besides, there are also some new forces emerging into the market, like, Meituan, Dianping. They all use their own advantages to compete in travel industry.

Meanwhile, another trends emerged in nowadays travel industry. Many of the offline travel agencies are developing into online platforms. Users are more likely to get travel inspirations and complete travel processes from online interactions. What's more, online purchasing is becoming more and more popular than ever before and there is still a big space to improve. According to data provided by many consultancy companies, the traveling industry’s online penetration rate is about 10%.

Online players didn't stop to seek for qualified offline players. Since 2014, Ctrip has purchased the wholesale tour operator Huayuan MNB as well as many other offline travel agencies. The same situation also happened with some famous online travel agencies, like and

Behind consolidation and acquisitions, there exists some industry-developing trend. Core trends will be about rediscovering high value resources, which include tickets, hotels, cars as well as fragmented products. Unfortunately, some offline players misused customers’ traffic to badly influence those online. However, due to market development, the current situation will most definitely see a change of action. Nowadays, users are pursuing a wonderful full travel experience rather than passively visit a place somewhere. This is the reason why online platforms should be responsible for the quality of products, including service experience, availability, reliability in peak times, pre-booking and etc.

This trend indicates that we will witness an integration between online and offline players. The intensive integration will show the direction for industry development in the future.

Now let us turn to the trend of sharing economy. Within the travel industry, as an early demonstration of sharing economy, Airbnb gave a subversive enlightenment to practitioners and entrepreneurs. However, in addition to accommodation, in fact, there are less resources for the tourism industry that can be shared - because a lot of resources are dependent on human interaction. And letting people sharing together is not an easy process.

Finally, the combination of the tourism industry and the finance industry may provide some ideas for entrepreneurs. This is a hard era for practitioners. They need to prepare well to embrace the ever changing travel industry environment.

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