A Star Is Born For Chinese Drivers - Mercedes-Benz Entering Outbound Luxury Tourism Market

Jan 19 2014, 4:32pm CST | by

ch hTo the surprise of many observers,  Mercedes-Benz announced during a press conference in Shanghai the establishment of the “Mercedes-Benz Travel” brand through an exclusive partnership with HH Travel, the high-end travel brand of Ctrip International. The move marks Mercedes-Benz’s official entry into the Chinese premium outbound travel market as the first automaker to offer travel solutions together with a dedicated cooperation partner in the Greater China region. Mercedes-Benz Travel is positioning itself as providing specially-engineered travel design, high quality of trips and unique Mercedes-Benz highlights. Itineraries will only be announced next month, but Mercedes-Benz Travel promises to introduce products for Chinese sophisticated premium travel customers which combine carefully selected locations with a well-balanced itinerary featuring regional, theme-based and event trips with a focus on Europe as the main destination, including special topics such as ladies-only trips, summer camps, and education trips, as well as German engineering trips for the technically-minded, including visits to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

Using the existing high-level network and contacts, travelers are to be taken to unusual places, but also to classical highlight destinations with a different spin. Customers will meet people and make experiences that are out of reach for other travelers.

Through the establishment of Mercedes-Benz Travel, Mercedes-Benz is adding another dimension to the brand in China  which is meant to underline that it also embodies diversified and passionate lifestyles, which are in China more often associated with its German rivals BMW and Audi. This approach will be helped by the partnership with HHTravel, which has established itself as a major player in the premium tour segment.  China is the starting market to enter the travel industry for Mercedes-Benz but if the initiative proves to be successful, the concept could be extended to other tourism source markets.

Mercedes-Benz is among the first non-tourism brands which try to leverage their brand value for the profitable luxury tourism market in China in a systematic way. In a country with only very few distinctive tour operator brands, dominated by large state-owned companies like CITS, CTS, CYTS which offer almost identical products and compete mainly on price, this might not be a bad business plan. TUI, Europe’s biggest tour operator, shied away from using the outbound license granted to its daughter TUI China in 2012, as in China nobody knows the brand and the money needed to change that seemed to be already earmarked to prop up the faltering key markets closer to home. Mercedes-Benz on the contrary only has to convince Chinese affluent travelers that good car-makers can also be good travel service provider.

The author has been involved in market research activities of both Mercedes-Benz and TUI for the Chinese outbound market.

Source: Forbes Auto

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

California Plans For A Hydrogen Future
California Plans For A Hydrogen Future
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Gather In California The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development for the State of California (nicknamed “GO-Biz”) held an event at the Toyota USA Automobile Museum yesterday....
 
 
GM CEO Still Draws Media Crush; This Time For The Wrong Reason
It was only three months ago that General Motors' Chief Executive Mary Barra was nearly crushed by hundreds of journalists at the Detroit auto show in one of the most epic media scrums the industry has ever seen. Back...
 
 
Best Of FORBES: How To Pay Bitcoin Taxes, America's Break From Auto Industry
The latest FORBES e-book from Micheline Maynard investigates why a growing number of Americans are giving up their automobiles. This illuminating account of our changing car habits is available for download now. Read...
 
 
How CVC Has Made $8.2 billion From Formula One Auto Racing
Private equity firm CVC Capital has made $8.2 billion from its investment in Formula One auto racing according to new research. CVC took a gamble when it bought F1 for $2 billion in 2006 in a leveraged buyout financed...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Do You Have The 'Stickability' To Be A Successful Entrepreneur?
It’s no secret that successful entrepreneurs have something special that sets them apart from just the dabblers and hobbyists, but exactly what is it that’s different? Every business venture runs into obstacles,...
Read more on Business Balla
 
The Masters Post Mortem And Prognosis Without Tiger Woods
null Before the Masters, I suggested the leaders of golf carefully examine this 2014 event without Tiger Woods. It would be a forecast of the future of golf without him, which is, of course, inevitable. The examination...
Read more on Business Balla
 
'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Gets One Last Trailer
I suppose I should have seen this coming. I spent the last three months praising the relative restraint of the X-Men: Days of Future Past marketing campaign. Up until three weeks ago, we had only seen a single trailer,...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Bruins Tickets Have Biggest Face Price Discount For 1st Round Of NHL Playoffs
In three out of the last four season, the Bruins have faced an original six team in the first round of the playoffs. This year, they’ll face off against the Detroit Red Wings,  a team they haven’t met in the playoffs in...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Don't Underestimate Big Data
The techniques of big data have been criticized recently in a post by Tim Harford among others. It’s quite easy to imagine the potential here has been exaggerated, and a core point about the importance of theory in a...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Even Recreational Marijuana May Be Linked To Brain Changes
Adding to earlier evidence that marijuana may be linked to lasting neurological changes, a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience today finds that even casual pot smoking may have an effect on the size and structure...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Man Pulls Submachine Gun Over 22¢ Tax: 'I'm Tax Exempt'
A Chicago man allegedly brandished a submachine gun in a store. No, he wasn’t robbing it. He just didn’t want to pay a 22-cent tax on a $1.79 two-liter bottle of soda. Taxes are annoying, especially this time of year....
Read more on Business Balla
 
Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that that nation's biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Paul Walker's brothers help complete movie
Paul Walker's younger brothers will help complete his final movie, 'Fast & Furious 7.' Producers confirmed on Tuesday (04.15.14) that Caleb and Cody Walker have signed on to shoot the remaining scenes featuring the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that that nation's biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla