Qunar launches a new portal for luxury e-tourism
The luxury in the e-commerce on the Chinese market is rapidly expanding and should soon overtake 3 billion dollars. Many retailers of the fashion industry such as Net-A-Porter, YOOX or even Neiman Marcus thought that this year, they would be the only ones to take advantage of “big Chinese spendthrift”. But other companies also hope to take advantage of this new target.
Last year, it was the Chinese who represented, all over the world, a majority in the sector of the luxury tourism. This offers multiple opportunities to the companies of e-commerce in this domain (see how skip tourism agencies).
Now the trend has changed. In fact, the Chinese are not only looking for more places to make big purchases but also for more comfort with accommodations or experiential travel. A very promising area that is developed and operated by a handful of e-commerce sites.
A new portal which changes everything!
Recently, at the instigation of its major shareholder Baidu (which has invested $ 306 million), Qunar joined the promising upscale segment of e-commerce by providing a new portal, with trips focused on the best Chinese destinations and other key cities. Qunar offers rooms in more than 2,000 hotels. The website Tech In Asia highlights the “smart move” of this new launch on this premium segment in tourism through this new interface which is more sophisticated and with a minimalist aesthetic look of it.
The new portal doesn’t contains nothing more than it already offered on its website, however it now shows the most luxury hotels on one single page much more enjoyable. Through this initiative, Qunar highlights its hotel partners such as large chains Hyatt or Shangri-La, and many luxury hotels. The goal is for the moment to concentrate on 10 cities.
A hard competition
Revealing that 21% of bookings were for hotel rooms that cost more than RMB 500 (USD 80) per night, Qunar says it is able to offer a price 10% lower concerning the half of its offers to five stars, compared to its main competitor Ctrip.
This competition is normal for segments of the basic travels and the high-end travel in China. There are highly specialized companies in the travel with high prices for example Zanadu or TripTM (recently acquired by Ctrip) whose travels are tailored to customers.
The e-commerce market in China continues to grow and especially e-tourism (see this article). Whether they are start-ups focused on the custom-made fashion, on accessories, health or tourism, they experience a significant rise. More and more companies are present in the E-commerce. The platforms hypermarkets such as Taobao referring to specialized sites continue to grow. Indeed, “niche sites” can sometimes be in a better position than some market such as luxury e-commerce in China which is crowded.