Mafengwo: Chinese travel platform that shapes the popularity of international destinations in China
Mafengwo: Chinese travel platform that shapes the popularity of international destinations in China
Author: Matej Balen
13th August 2018
BEIJING – Founded in 2006, Mafengwo started as a website somewhat comparable to Tripadvisor, but since then has developed into one of China’s fastest-growing online social travel platforms, favoured by Millennials for its social engagement features.

Mafengwo’s success is based on big data and user-generated content, including travel guides, travel blogs, and a robust Q&A forum. Platform offers over one million user-generated travel guides with over six million ratings and reviews, providing travellers with an insider’s look into hotels, shopping, weather, landmarks, routes, visas, insurance, and more. Mafengwo also offers travel services such as tickets to sporting events, local tours, and hotel reservations, utilizing several integrated booking sites with premier affiliate deals.

The growth of the platform is easy to explain with the increasing popularity of self-guided tours in China, especially within Millennials ranging from 24-35 years of age in China. Mafengwo is not restricted to traditional group-tour travel products, but provides personal aspects of travel information, enabling users to exchange information and share their travelling experience, through photography diaries and providing information about food, music and culture, and manage groups to create their own destinations. This content provides all necessary information for an individual to successfully plan its independent travel experience.

The co-founder and chief executive officer of Mafengwo, Chen Gang, calls its company the "Alibaba of the tourism industry". Mafengwo currently has 120 million registered users, 80% of which being active monthly users (most of them 25-34 years old). It covers 60,000 worldwide destinations, with 200,000 published travel products by traveling agencies.

From the user’s perspective, Mafengwo is one of the most user-friendly platform, able to guide each individual from their initial travel interest to a defined traveling destination with easy confirmable every aspect of the travel.

To attract more interaction with its users, the platform launched a daily travel blog contest that selects the most exciting post, complete with high-quality content and photos. Currently, Mafengwo sees a pool of 4,500 blogs uploaded daily, but also over one million user-generated travel guides.

Many destinations and tourist boards have recognised the strength of the platform for the promotion of their destinations. Last summer, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark have signed a deal with Mafengwo to jointly develop travel guide content for Chinese visitors coming to North Europe, which boosted the popularity of these countries amongst Chinese travellers.

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