At the same time Airbnb announced its plans to rebrand itself in China and double down on its investment in one of the world’s largest travel markets, the reigning “Airbnb of China,” Tujia, also announced its future plans and strategy.
At the 2017 Tujia Open World Summit, Tujia CEO and co-founder Justin Luo spoke about the company’s “3+1” development strategy for the year and other company executives detailed new product launches, looking at the following four perspectives: consumers, hosts, property buyers, and regionalization.
Tujia, which has backing from Ctrip and Expedia, is valued at $1 billion. Whereas Airbnb in China, now known as Aibiying after its rebranding, has approximately 80,000 listings in the region, Tujia has more than 430,000.
Here are the key takeaways:
Tujia Wants to Personalize and Improve the Home Sharing Experience
Much like Airbnb has done so with its investments in better “matching” of homes to users, Tujia is pursuing similar investments in personalizing the lodging experience for its guest. The company said it wants to allow for the addition or more features such as “multiple people” and “extended period of stay” to better accommodate business travelers, family groups, and transitional accommodation.
To achieve this, the company plans to harness more resources and better housing options through eight different platforms, including Tujia, mayi.com, Ctrip, Elong, Qunar.com and others.
The company is also looking to offer the services it offers to guests. While the company has always provided additional services for both hosts and guests that include cleaning, etc., Tujia wants to expand those services to also include more functions that address safety, cleaning, searching, and payment.
And because “trust” between hosts and guests is still something that is an area of focus for travelers in China who may still be new to the concept of home sharing, Tujia implemented a “concern-free living strategy that includes a house inspection, Tujia premium hosts, two-way evaluation between hosts and guests, Ctrip credit, Zhima credit, and compensation.
Tujia Wants to Make It Easier for Chinese Hosts to Rent Out Their Homes
Tujia has consolidated all eight of it platforms, including Tujia.com, Mayi.com, Ctrip.com, Elong.com, Qunar.com and 58.com, WeChat hotel booking, and Zhima Credit into a ‘one-click’ solution in an effort to make things as easy as possible for hosts.
Hosts can now use the Tujia app to control the price, availability, and bookings of its rentals, as well as communicate directly with guests.
In 10 cities, Tujia is also conducting a pilot to provide room cleaning, towel and bed sheet laundry, and smart lock service to help more hosts share out their properties.
And just as Airbnb focused on improving the overall hospitality expertise of its host community over the past few years, Tujia is doing the same, investing in operational training, security consulting, income management and other service support to help the hosts become more professional. The company said hosts that are taught better income management can improve their incomes by 10 percent.
Additionally, Tujia hosts can use Sweetome flagship stores, Tujia housekeeping service centers, and branded franchise stores to purchase resources, services, and merchandise needed for their rentals.
Tujia Is Working with Property Developers to Sell Tujia-Ready Homes
Tujia wants to work hand in hand with property developers to ensure it has a stable supply of rental listings and make sure the process of renting on Tujia is as seamless and easy for property buyers as possible. It has a “TuLifang Solution” that provides both housekeeping and property management services from the very beginning, so even before someone actually buys a home, he/she knows they can very easily rent it out on Tujia, improving the value of the home to buyers.
For more insight into Tujia’s strategy, check out Skift’s one-on-one interview with Tujia co-founder and chief technology officer Melissa Yang.