Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Apr 3, 2012

Tune Hotels assigns PRC Interactive to penetrate China's OTA market

CHINA - Budget hotel brand Tune Hotels has given PRC Interactive a two-year digital marketing assignment to penetrate China's online travel agency (OTA) market.

Tune Hotels assigns PRC Interactive to penetrate China's OTA market

Under the terms of the assignment, Tune Hotels’ limited service concept will be pushed as hotel inventory for online travel portals in China such as Netease, Taobao, Qunar, and Ctrip.

The Kuala Lumpur-based affiliate of AirAsia called for a digital pitch in February and concluded it two weeks ago, with a two-year contract on a retainer basis awarded to PRC Interactive (the "PRC" stands for "People's Republic Of Choice".

The independent digital agency, specialising in serving travel brands, was set up by angel investors from France and Canada and has 40 staff in its offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou—also cities where outbound tourism is more active.

In 2012 Chinese tourists are expected to pack their bags for nearly 80 million international trips, spending US$80 billion in the process, according to the China Tourism Academy.

PRC Interactive will be using website design and development, social media and word-of-mouth marketing as well as search engine optimisation as avenues for Tune Hotels' digital strategy. Currently, its digital presence in China includes a localised website and a Sina Weibo enterprise account with 6909 fans.

Calvin Choi, managing partner of PRC Interactive, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that the budget hotel brand is programming its focus over the upcoming 12 months on Chinese outbound travellers going to Southeast Asian destinations such as Malaysia, Indonesia, The Philippines and Thailand.

As for the next 12 months, inbound and domestic tourists will be targeted, as Tune Hotels builds up new property sites in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

Brand awareness is as much a priority as customer service, which the hotel wants to emphasise, Choi revealed. In particular, customer service seems to be lacking based on Weibo comments complaining of non-replies to their travel enquiries and payment methods.

Tune Hotels employs a self-service demand-based booking system for travellers to book rooms in advance for cheaper prices through the web, similar to those of low-cost airlines.

Campaign China

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