Ctrip has inked a new partnership with Leisure Pass Group, a firm that provides attraction passes for select European and U.S. cities. While Leisure Pass Group sells passes to over 20 cities, the Ctrip partnership will be limited to sales of the London Pass initially, giving tourists access to sites like Westminster Abbey, Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Tower of London. The passes range from 1 to 6 days and can include transportation around London. Ctrip is planning to roll out passes for New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Paris in the future.
Ctrip and Leisure Pass Group hope to capitalize on the growing number of Chinese tourists traveling to Europe
The move designed to capitalize on the growing number of Chinese travelers to Europe. With the ongoing EU-China Year of Tourism, now may be the best time to introduce Leisure Pass Group’s offerings to the Chinese market.
Moreover, Britain saw a large uptick in the number of Chinese arrivals last year with the weakened pound. In 2017, the number of Ctrip users who booked trips to Britain doubled. Offering a wider range of travel products for Britain with its increased popularity among its user base is a prudent move for Ctrip.
For Leisure Pass Group, Ctrip is the ideal partner for selling to the Chinese market. Ctrip is by far the most popular online travel agency (OTA) in China and is arguably the best platform to outsource the sale of the pass to Chinese consumers.
The Leisure Pass Group Partnerships helps Ctrip meet some key strategic goals for the European market
The partnership also fits into some of Ctrip’s larger strategic goals in regards to outbound travel, particularly in long-haul destinations in Europe and North America. While it’s hard to deny that independent travel has become increasingly popular among Chinese tourists in the past ten years, Chinese tourists still travel mostly via tour groups.
Ctrip has attempted to bridge the gap between independent and group travel with what it calls its “customized travel” platform and has made serious efforts to promote the use of the platform and establish connections with tour agencies in Europe. While not fully independent travel, Ctrip’s Customized Travel packages allow customers to purchase guided itineraries designed to their liking.
The Leisure Pass Group partnership allows Ctrip to expand its offering of products that allow its users to engage in travel experiences that offer a certain level of guidance, while still leaving room for independence.