After announcing a Chinese name and appointing its China head earlier this year, Airbnb is moving one step further in its foray to explore the Chinese market. The US homestay giant, together with its Chinese partner Alipay, announced today Travel Deposit (旅行储蓄), a financial feature that will help China’s young travelers to save for their dream vacation.
Research conducted by Airbnb shows that spending on vacations accounts for a significant part of spending for China’s millennials. Upon a windfall gain, over 40% of the interviewees choose to spend it on traveling over investing in fixed assets. However, the key to any trip is being smart with your money – and that starts even before you hit the road.
After setting your destination, duration, and date of travel as well as the number of travelers on Alipay, the system will show the sum you have to save per day. It will also transfer the sum to Alipay’s mutual fund Yuebao automatically. Users can also share their travel plans through social networks like WeChat or Weibo.
Airbnb’s partnership with Alipay dates almost three years ago when the tool was first supported as a means of payment on the platform in 2014. The tie-up not only fueled Alipay’s expansion to the US market, but also helped Airbnb to entice Chinese travelers, who are becoming a leading group in the tourism market.
The launch of travel fund feature is a convenient addition to Alipay’s financial product lineup. Since the swiping success of mutual fund Yuebao, Alipay has rolled out a series of similar online financial services for different verticals, such as Yulebao, a fan-driven fund that allows users to invest in movies.