“We introduced our CPH initiative in October 2015. We have observed that the conversion rate of hotels that are a part of CPH is 15% higher, and most of the best sellers are included in the program”
Initially launched in 2015, Ctrip’s Chinese Preferred Hotel (CPH) Program includes a range of benefits including Mandarin speaking services, Wi-fi access, Chinese-friendly front desk, Chinese TV Channels, availability of Chinese tea and the use of Chinese payment apps Alipay and WeChat. Members of the program will also have slippers and kettles in their rooms and Chinese breakfast with steamed buns and soy milk in addition to instant noodles in some minibars.
Stepping up the conversion rate
Ctrip isn’t just looking at adding overseas hotels to swell the figure. Through its Chinese preferred hotel program (CPH) program, the team ensures that the content is tailored as per the preferences of travelers.
If we consider the conversion rate, Ctrip is witnessing a significant contribution from its CPH.
“We introduced our CPH initiative in October 2015. We have observed that the conversion rate of hotels that are a part of CPH is 15% higher, and most of the best sellers are included in the program” shared Ctrip’s John Zhong, Head of International Hotel Business. The figure is minuscule but it also means that those are putting an effort get rewarded too – both in terms of awareness as well as bookings.
Ctrip states that its objective is to reward hotels for their diligent effort to make Chinese guests comfortable. “We aren’t like global OTAs. We are based in China, and if hotels put an effort to understand travelers from this market, their marketing message would be sharper,” said Zhong.
As of now, Ctrip’s CPH Program covers 353 cities in 50 countries, encompassing more than 2000 hotels.
According to Ctrip’s hotel data, this summer is seeing a greater number of international hotel bookings. Japan accounted for nearly half of the top ten cities in terms of bookings, making it the most popular country this summer for Chinese tourists. Phuket, Singapore, Bangkok, Kota Kinabalu and Chiang Mai also saw a significant boost in hotel bookings relative to the same period last year.
How does a group or an independent hotel become part of CPH?
“We work with groups to acquire CPH hotels like Best Western qualified 53 hotels. We vet all the requisite aspects, our local team or market managers interact with the hotels and then we decide upon allocation of CPH tag. It is a one-time investment for a hotel, but as we have seen with the conversion rate, it definitely benefits everyone involved in a booking,” said Zhong.
Ctrip’s ranking algorithm considers hotels that fall under CPH and when a search happens, they do figure prominently in the listing.