Transaction Growth Confirms Fliggy’s Strength Connecting International Brands to Chinese Consumers

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HANGZHOU, China, June 26, 2024 — Fliggy, a leading online travel platform and wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA and HKEX: 9988), saw double-digit growth in the number of merchants with a transaction volume exceeding RMB1 million on its platform during this year’s 618 summer promotion. While five international brands each recorded a transaction volume exceeding RMB100 million via their flagship stores, the platform has shown its proven ability to generate business growth for merchants of all sizes.

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These results underscored Fliggy’s strength as a platform connecting Chinese consumers to international brands’ flagship stores, including InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Hilton, Hyatt and Beijing Universal Resort. The transaction volume of promotional items during this period saw robust double-digit growth compared to the previous year, with the number of participating consumers nearly doubling from the same period last year.

Leveraging the flexibility of Fliggy’s “Travel Now, Plan Later” model, nearly 400,000 flight passes were sold to customers, which give consumers flexibility in their reservations until they confirm their travel plans. The flight passes launched by leading airline brands including All Nippon Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways and China Southern Airlines, recorded a transaction volume exceeding RMB10 million, respectively.

Zhuoran Zhuang, CEO of Fliggy, said: “The 618 event serves as a window for us to observe travel trends and changes in consumer preferences for the summer vacation period. This year, we have seen a continued increase in demand for long-distance travel and niche destinations at home and abroad, as well as for personalized travel experiences. Fliggy looks forward to working closely with more merchants to provide a richer array of travel products that meet the ever-changing needs of consumers.”

Interest in niche overseas destinations is rising

The popularity of long-distance and niche destinations has surged, with countries requiring long flights – such as New Zealand, the United States, Iceland, Australia, the United Kingdom and France – accounting for half of the top outbound travel destinations by transaction volume. Moreover, outbound travelers’ interest in off-the-beaten-path destinations continues to grow. Iceland, Kenya, Fiji, New Zealand, Mauritius, Morocco, Serbia, Brazil, Sweden and Sri Lanka are among the fastest-growing overseas destinations.

Fliggy’s data also indicates that consumers are pursuing innovative ways to escape the heat this year. The transaction volume of international cruise packages has increased more than sevenfold, year-on-year, and that of Oceania-related travel products has surged more than fifteenfold.

Supply of quality outbound travel product boosts demand

In addition to the unique natural scenery of overseas destinations, surging high-quality supply has been a significant driving force in the robust growth in transaction volume. Fliggy revealed at its Outbound Travel Merchant Summit held on 14 June that in the past year, more than 1,000 new merchants operating overseas leisure products and tickets to scenic destinations have joined its platform, adding nearly 30,000 new products. These products offer a variety of experiences, including diving, skydiving, helicopter sightseeing, dune bashing, hiking and full- or half-day tours to social media influencer hotspots. Currently, Fliggy is the online travel platform with the richest selection of local leisure products for outbound travel in China.

In 2023, the average fulfilled transaction volume of overseas leisure and ticketing merchants on the Fliggy platform has seen double-digit growth compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels. In the meantime, the value per user click increased by more than 30%, resulting in an all-time high traffic conversion rate.

The increasing demand in outbound tourism among Chinese consumers has encouraged the industry to offer a variety of bespoke options beyond traditional large-group tours. Exploring new strategies and platforms to better deploy resources has become a priority to merchants operating outbound leisure services. Fliggy continues to increase investment in areas such as merchant onboarding, training, operational tool upgrades, traffic delivery and matching, and merchant services. This support aims to help merchants acquire customers at a lower cost and with higher efficiency, and to build their own brands.

It is estimated that one out of every three Chinese tourists has placed an order for leisure products and tickets on Fliggy when they travel to popular destinations such as Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, the Maldives and New Zealand.