With the rising popularity of cultural tours, there are a number of new revenue opportunities, according to Tunui. The Chinese travel giant sees a “large opportunity for destination products and services”
Maria Yi Xin, Chief Financial Officer of Tuniu Corp, says, “In a way, all travel is a form of cultural travel.”
Tuniu has been working on its offering, allowing customers to dynamically bundle products. Travellers can select their accommodation and transportation of choice and bundle it with various destination-based products. This gives travellers the ability to dynamically tailor a cultural trip to their own preference. Tuniu also offers tailored tour products, giving customers the ability to fully design a trip based on their demand, even if it’s not a standard product.
“We expect culture travel products to be one of our fastest growing sub-segment,” says Xin. “Most notably for Chinese travellers, they are especially fond of experiencing local cuisine during their travel and visiting key attractions,” says Xin. In comparison, more experienced travellers may be interested in more specific aspects of the culture, such as art or history.
Xin says cultural trips are more prevalent among travellers from higher-tier cities and the younger generation. For travellers from lower-tier cities or older travellers, there is a stronger preference for traditional organised tour products. Spending varies significantly depending on the traveller and the destination. Budget for long-haul destinations from China such as Europe or North America are generally higher.
And to what extent the demand for customised and personalised travel experiences is being reflected in culture travel? “Culture trips are customized in nature because each traveller has their own preference for experiencing local culture. Cultural trips are mostly conducted through self- guided tours and individual tours. Group tours provide various cultural activities too but these experiences are not as immersive,” said Xin.
Photo: Maria Yi Xin, Chief Financial Officer, Tuniu Corp