Rapid growth in China’s outbound tourism market has led to the country’s premier, invitation-only travel site, Zanadu, plugging into SiteMinder’s Room Distribution Exchange (RDX), to gain direct access to leading hotel reservation systems around the world.
Zanadu selected RDX to be the first channel connectivity platform to link with the luxury travel site, which was launched in 2011 with listings of deluxe hotels around the world, including The Atlantis in Dubai, hand-picked by Zanadu’s roving ‘correspondents’ to meet the discerning travel demands of China’s burgeoning middle class.
In choosing RDX, Zanadu will gain direct access to hotel clients of the many companies that use the RDX platform to power their distribution, including SiteMinder’s own Channel Manager. Income growth, the strengthening of the Chinese currency and visa relaxations for Chinese tourists saw a record 57 million Chinese travel abroad in 2010, spending US$48 billion, according to Zanadu. The company says China’s outbound travel market is forecast to grow by 17 per cent a year over the next three years, with its value more than quadrupling from $321 billion yuan (US52 billion) in 2010 to 1.5 trillion yuan (US$238 billion) in 2015.
SiteMinder’s Product Manager, Matt O’Kane, said “Zanadu is one of China’s first high-end travel sites and we are very excited to be the first connectivity platform to directly link the channel via the RDX platform, providing hotels around the world with new and seamless access to Zanadu’s growing market in China and allowing hoteliers to efficiently manage room distribution to this unique and lucrative booking channel.”
Commenting on the partnership with SiteMinder’s RDX, Zanadu Hotel Relations Manager, Aymeric Naudin, said: “There are now more than half a billion internet users in China and that figure is growing rapidly and by 2020, 100 million experienced affluent travellers, which is Zanadu’s market, will account for 40 per cent of China’s outbound market. Our new partnership with SiteMinder and RDX will enable Zanadu to respond instantly to the needs of our growing member base by making rates, availability and bookings automatic, cutting down on manual work and making our operations much more efficient.”
Zanadu is used by affluent Chinese travellers who are invited to the site’s membership. Zanadu’s travelling correspondents visit and vet the luxury hotels around the world featured on the site at www.zanadu.cn. The site is named after Xanadu, a former city used by Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan as his summer residence during the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century. The ruins of the city are now a World Heritage site in Mongolia.