Hong Kong-listed local services platform Meituan-Dianping announced on Monday it has set a new industry record in China’s online travel agency (OTA) market, posting more than 2 million domestic hotel room nights booked on the last day of 2018.
Beijing-based Meituan attributed the achievement to its food plus platform strategy. The company claims in a press statement that, it has built up a life services e-commerce platform on the basis of its core business of food delivery, through which it acquired and retained customers, and then expanded into other services by targeting the same customer pool.
The company’s latest feat represents a 30% increase from its preceding high of 1.57 million room nights recorded on a single day in 2017. In line with the on-one-day record, Meituan also managed to take over Ctrip, China’s largest OTA service provider, by total volumes of hotel room nights in both the first and second quarter of last year, per data compiled by TrustData, a data analytics firm.
Comparing to traditional OTA services such as Ctrip or Tencent-backed TongCheng Elong, Meituan is more of an unorthodoxy. The company also seems to acknowledge so, saying that, unlike other traditional services, it only offers hotel accommodations as an extension and one of the local life services it provides for consumers on its platform.
Meituan offers its platform users a wide range of accommodations options, covering local, intercities and long journey travel needs.
In 2017, over 80% of Meituan’s new hotel-booking users were converted from its incumbent food delivery and in-store dining users, according to data provided by the company, serving as a testament to its “building on and expanding from food delivery” expansion strategy.
While Meituan has been enjoying stellar growth in the accommodation sector, it’s noteworthy that its orders are mostly for low- to mid-end hotel rooms, as compared to Ctrip’s tight grip on high-end hotel markets with usually higher margins.
Editor: Ben Jiang