Chinese startup Mafengwo has become one of China’s largest tourism communities. The online platform covers over 600,000 travel destinations around the globe with user-generated reviews.
The idea for Mafengwo came from a travel community for Chinese millennials who were able to view each other’s reviews of destinations they had visited. The social travel service recently announced that it had raised $133 million from investors including General Atlantic, Ocean Link, Remasek, Yuantai Investment and Hopu. The money raised will go towards making improvements to the global travel experience, deepening the application’s analytic capabilities and improving the travel guides and services for visitors.
What differentiates Mafengwo is its community of users who provide candid feedback, recommendations and ideas on the AI-enabled platform. Since the reviews on destinations come from peers rather than brand, users are more prone to believe what they read and want to try experiences that have been enjoyed by others with similar lifestyles as them.
Since the boom in China’s economy over the past decade, there has been a shift in how people from China travel. Organized tours are not as popular as they once were, as people now favor individual trips with in-depth experiences that make the journey unique. Mafengwo isn’t the only platform available to consumers, however. Its top rival Qiongyou, along with a myriad of other custom travel platforms, are trying to take a piece of this new and increasing market for experiential, individualized travel.
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Article & Image: PSFK