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Week in review 08/26 to 09/01

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I’m back from Sanya. Felt good about the beach and Marriot hotel, I will talk more about the trip later. The following are stuffs I recorded before the trip.

1) Ctrip service is good. Free pick up, delivery; SMS reminder; coupon book including shuttle ride from airport to hotel. By the way, I saw Ctrip’s rep at Sanya airport. She gave me a small tour guide book (free); the book seems very useful. I guess Ctrip is continuing to grow, and create stickness with its customers.

2) Got 2 shares of Vanke at its secondary offering. I bid 500 shares, and the allocate rate is about 0.46%, so I got 2 shares at 31.53 Yuan each. This is smallest stock purchase I ever made. I heard Vanke’s secondary attacted CNY 200 b to bid. Citic Securities slightly beat that with CNY 225 b.

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Consumer series IV: China Youth Travel

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I am resuming this series as I am in Shanghai, and I got first hand look at the consumer spending here. Travel industry grew very fast in recent years due to several factors:

1) The golden week, where people got one week break in Chinese New Year, May 1, and Oct 1;

2) People have more money to spend in general, especially young people want to more DIY travel (freedom tour instead of the good old group tour);

3) More sites have been developed, e.g., Sanya, Lijiang (Yunan), etc.

But the travel industry is highly fragmented in China. The main players include: the scenic sites (Huangshan, e’Mei Shan etc.); the travel agency; the airlines; and the hotels. The profit margin of travel agency business is not high, especially the domestic travel.

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Booked Sanya trip through Ctrip

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I have been a Ctrip user since 2005: in May 2005 I booked the air ticket and hotels to Jiu Zhai Gou from them. I also visited their call center when I picked up the tickets (they did offer to deliver the tickets, but I had some free time and was curious about their operation so I went). In early 2006 I booked motels (Home Inns) through Ctrip, because I know I can get CNY 10.00 discount that way (without Home Inns membership).

More than two years has passed, I am using their service again. This time we are going Sanya (note the we instead of I). A lot has been changed in China travel business in past 5 years. More people are taking the “freedom tour”, vs. the old way of “group tour”, in which people pretty much “sleeping in the bus”, and “shoot pictures at different scenic spots”. In this “freedom tour”, where people drive their own car, or take their own walk, they don’t have to worry about when the tour bus will leave, which place the tour guide will take us to shop, etc (picture courtesy of

Sanya pic

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Jinjiang Inn Hook up with Expedia

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Zhao Huan Yan published his January report for China domestic hotels industry. I am interested to learn some update on the economy chain such as Jinjiang Inns. I noticed Expedia, the leading US online travel consolidator, is establishing partnership with Jinjiang Inn. It seems foreigners can use expedia to book the Jinjiang Inn soon.

(Update 04Feb07) I looked up expedia, it appears you can book many 2.5 stars (and up) hotels in Shanghai right now, some of them are belong to Jinjiang group (such as the famous Peace Hotel in Nanjing Rd Bund). Have not seen Jinjiang Inn (or Jinjiang Stars yet).

I vaguely remember the foreigners make up about 7 to 8% of guests for Jinjiang and Home Inns (Rujia). This includes the foreigners already in China. In other words, I don’t expect Expedia Jinjiang partnership to give Jinjiang Inn a huge leg up in this “foreigners market”.

jin jiang Inn

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