All About Mafengwo
Mafengwo (马蜂窝), when translated into English, refers to a wasp’s nest. Mafengwo has a similar history to that of Xiahongshu. Although the two platforms hail from different industries, they share a common business model. Mafengwo started off as a platform in 2010 that simply shared information about travel, later went on to establish itself as an OTA in 2016.
The Chinese online travel agency has raised 250 million USD in its series F financing round. The round was led by Tencent Holdings and this marked the beginning of Mafengwo’s association with China’s largest tech companies.
As A Travel Forum
The travel industry in China was dominated by independent travel agencies that carried out travel bookings manually. Mafengwo bridged the underlying gap between travellers and their queries about locations with its platform. Travellers began turning to this platform that shared user experiences related to journeys, travel tips, itineraries, hotel recommendations and feedback with other users on the platform. It started catering to the millennial travel community. It is similar to Ctrip, Trip advisor, Goibibo, Lonely Planet and Expedia.
The millennial population appreciates authentic content from fellow travellers and Mafengwo capitalized on this user behaviour. As users started frequenting this platform, it started becoming the go-to travel platform for travel everything. It now offers a fascinating range of travel products and services which covers everything a traveller needs on a trip. This is inclusive of hotel-bookings, pick-up services from the airport, tickets, visas, sim cards and any other travel product.
Just like Xiahongshu, related travel brands started flocking to this website to list their services and products, turning it into a travel marketplace.
Mafengwo created a community of users to share their experiences with one another. The community allows users to group together through the ‘club system.’ It lets them upload pictures, travel plans and form groups to interact with like-minded jet setters or even find potential travel partners. In addition to this, the platform organises offline social events countrywide for participants on the platform to interact with each other offline.
One Of Mafengwo’s Unique USP
Like we mentioned earlier, Mafengwo adapted to the millennial mindset and unlike other OTA platforms that simply list out hotel deals, Mafengwo categorizes its hotel recommendations according to travel themes like “Fairytale-like” or “Historical” settings. Millennial travellers are obsessed with experiences and themes which is where Mafengwo leads in the industry
Voluntary content generated by users creates organic traffic on the platform and rewards users that post high-quality pictures to keep them coming back to the platform. This has created a level of trust and authenticity with the ‘word of mouth’ generation.
According to a 2017 report co-released by the China Tourism Academy and Chinese OTA giant Ctrip.com, Chinese travellers made 130 million outbound travel trips with 42% of them falling under the ‘independent traveller’ bracket.
Chinese travel dynamics have changed from group travelling to solo exploring over the years which has given rise to platforms like Mafengwo, Ctrip etc to guide these individual travellers with their escapades and give the associated brands the right custom exposure at the same time
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