BEIJING—The popular image of the Chinese tourist abroad typically revolves around a highly programmed package tour.
Airbnb, unsurprisingly, is hoping that it can persuade some of China's 107m outbound tourists otherwise, and has enlisted Allison+Partners to help make the case for its accommodation sharing service.
While first-time travellers are likely to remain wedded to "packages and buses", Allison+Partners China practice MD David Wolf believes that "there is a large and growing cohort of people who have been there and done that, and are ready to be a little adventurous."
Accordingly, Allison is targeting the more experienced Chinese tourist. "Airbnb is really focused on that outbound market right now."
Allison, which counts an existing relationship with Airbnb in the US, has been focusing on travel publications in China to make its case, via the firm's Beijing office. In particular, notes Wolf, the company is keen to convince people that "this doesn’t just stop with early adopters."
Last year, Airbnb inked a partnership with Alibaba-backed outbound travel site Qyer, in a bid to position itself as a legitimate accommodation resource for Chinese tourists. It also seems likely that Airbnb wants to build its business within China itself, although Wolf noted that this is still "wait and see."
In addition to China, Allison is also supporting Airbnb's efforts with outbound tourists in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
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