Due in part to its citizens’ rising disposable incomes, and government support to the sector, tourism has increased significantly in China, in recent years. Tujia has taken advantage of this boom and introduced its online holiday rentals website to Chinese travelers in 2011. The site was soon nicknamed China’s Airbnb since its model is similar to that of its western counterpart.
Tujia is indeed similar to the San Francisco-based Airbnb, as it connects homeowners with travelers who are looking for a comfortable and a personable place to stay, but it does differ in the service department. The company offers Airbnb-like services with Chinese-minded special touches which suit its clientele’s specific needs, wants, and quirks, which are not offered by any other company of its kind.
The Chinese online vacation rental site Tujia has been in existence only about four years, and yet, it is already valued at $1 billion, making it the latest entrant into the start-up unicorn club in China. Tujia has also attracted investments from the likes of LightSpeed Venture Partners, GGV Capital, and All-Stars Investment as well as travel industry players like Ascott, HomeAway, and Ctrip.
Currently listing nearly 300,000 properties in 250 destinations in China, Tujia has now set its sights on expanding overseas, and its strategy is very to the point: go where the Chinese tourists are going.