The Story: If the mobile wars are a battle of two titans, the battle for dominance in booking platforms is a horse race with a very crowded and increasingly competitive field.
What to Know:
Our research shows CTrip as first among OTAs that travelers are most likely to use for both trip planning and booking.
But also in the mix…Qunar, Tuniu, Fliggy, Mafengwo, LVMama and… Airbnb. We said it was crowded!
OTAs have surprising clout in shaping opinions. Although Chinese travelers famously post photos and reviews often, our study shows that their recommendations don’t carry as much weight among friends and family as OTAs and online travel forums like Mafengwo, Qyer and LVMama.
Our research shows that OTAs are the primary sources of inspiration when choosing a travel destination, followed by online travel forums.
Personal recommendations by friends and family are third, followed by friends and family posts on social media and, last in the top five, the official destination social media channel or website.
Other media are in play as well. While magazines and traditional media lost traction in travel long ago, old-fashioned film and television are increasingly influential.
Film and television were particularly influential for those traveling to France (69%), North America (68%), the United Kingdom (72%), and Latin America (73%)
For the moment, our study shows that Chinese travelers currently use OTAs like CTrip and Fliggy more than any other resources to book travel arrangements.