Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (Nasdaq: CTRP), one of China’s largest integrated travel services companies, has signed an agreement with Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR) to develop a global distribution strategy promoting MHR properties to Ctrip’s 300m-strong customer base.
The agreement was announced jointly at ITB Berlin by David Zhou, Chief Business Officer for Accommodation Business Unit of Ctrip and Nayan Peshkar, MHR Senior Vice-President – Digital, Distribution & Revenue Strategy.
The deals marks the start of an alliance enabling Ctrip to offer MHR’s portfolio of hotels in the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia to its China-based business and leisure travel clients. MHR will partner with Ctrip’s membership programme, which will certify its properties as ‘Chinese Friendly Hotels’ and enable them to benefit from Ctrip’s influential ranking system.
MHR and Ctrip will also work towards customer initiatives such as the launching of a flagship store on Ctrip’s digital platforms, joint marketing campaigns, as well as knowledge sharing and cross exposure programmes for team members.
One in four Chinese citizens use Ctrip to book and search for outbound flight tickets, making it the world’s largest outbound travel platform.
According to Ctrip’s 2018 Travel Report, its customers’ top destinations are England, France, Germany, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, and USA, all of which are home to hotels owned or operated by MHR and its associates.
MHR parent company Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Plc was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1996. At the end of 2018, it operated or branded a portfolio of 139 properties with 40,000 rooms and its brands are present in 28 nations around the world.
The group has always had a strong Asian franchise, thanks to its majority ownership by City Developments Limited, one of Singapore’s leading corporations.
David Zhou of Ctrip said: “Chinese outbound tourists reached nearly 150m in 2018, and the growth for this year remains strong. By signing this China–focused distribution agreement with MHR, we are continuing to offer 300m members the best hotel experience worldwide whilst enhancing MHR’s presence and boosting new business opportunities for them in the China market.”
Nayan Peshkar of MHR added: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Ctrip and thus raising the profile of our hotel offering in the large and fast-growing China travel market. Asia is our second biggest region of operations, so we already have a deep and embedded experience of what it takes to meet the high demands of business and leisure travelers from China.”
Photo: L-R: Jim Chung, Director, Global Hotel Chains/Ctrip; Ray Chen, CEO, Accommodation Business Unit/Ctrip; David Zhou, CBO, Accommodation Business Unit/Ctrip; Nayan Peshkar, SVP Digital, Distribution & Revenue Strategy/MHR; Jun Lai, General Manager, International Market & Hotel Chains/Ctrip; Hana Chlebna, Global Online Distribution Manager/MHR