HNA-Caissa Tourism Group’s advertisement celebrating the group’s first anniversary as China’s largest publicly-traded travel company appeared on the giant LED screen overlooking New York’s Times Square on October 26, 2016. The celebration is also an announcement of the company’s plans for growth across the whole of the tourism industry.
HNA-Caissa first issued shares on the Shenzhen A-shares Stock Exchange on October 26, 2015. HNA-Caissa Tourism Group executive chairman and CEO Liu Jiangtao explained that the goal of the group is not merely to become a listed company, but to bring change to the tourism industry as well as to the lifestyle of Chinese people everywhere.
Today, a year later, HNA-Caissa has earned recognition from its many partners and investors as the group continues its journey towards globalization and the build out of a whole industry chain. The lofty goals that were set when HNA-Caissa first became a publicly-held company are no longer fanciful aspirations that are out of reach, but have become reasonable objectives that are obtainable through strategic and feasible courses of action.
As a listed company, HNA-Caissa has demonstrated to the world its capabilities at rapid yet stable development while rolling out a strategic roadmap for growth across all segments of the travel and tourism sector.
An M&A Strategy to Grow Market Share
As a listed company, HNA-Caissa stressed the importance of capital management as much as it paid attention to the core business. Since the beginning of this year, the group invested 250 million yuan (approx. $US 37 million) in the Chinese travel App “Flight Manager”, which served as the basis for the huoli.com travel platform, as well as 600 million yuan (approx. $US 90 million) in the B round of financing for Le Sports (a popular Chinese online entertainment platform), serving as the group’s entry into the online business. HNA-Caissa also purchased and added funding to Tiantian Business Travel Service (a China-based travel service company), becoming its majority shareholder with a 60% stake. The group also entered into a partnership, where it is the largest shareholder, with tuniu.com, a major player in China’s online tourism service industry, through the application of a “finance + travel” business model. The build out of the financial portfolio through the various acquisitions is a play out of the strategy meant to raise the barrier to market entry for all competitors. The substantial increase in market value from 1.7 billion yuan (approx. $US 254million) prior to the reorganization to today’s 14.5 billion yuan (approx. $US 2.16 billion) is proof that both investors and consumers have put their trust in HNA-Caissa as a result of its notable increase in business as well as its commitment to sustainable development.
A Constant Focus on the Development of the Core Business
HNA-Caissa is dedicated to developing its core business by providing a tangible connection to local audiences as the strategy for growing the business. In more than a hundred of its 4th generation experience stores, convenient travel products are available to customers, through both online and offline channels.
HNA-Caissa focuses on specific segments, among them, the sports tourism market, through its unique position as the sole ticket agent for the Rio Olympic Games in China and by meeting the needs of Chinese travelers interested in joining sports events tours through the roll out of the “Olympic Games IP + Travel” package.
In line with the Chinese government’s program to develop trade and travel along the sea routes that connected China to Europe in earlier times, and in a move to gain first-mover advantage, HNA-Caissa partnered with MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and Ovation of the Seas from Royal Caribbean to launch a series of cruise travel products.
The Perfect Combination: Air Travel and Leisure Cruises
The passenger aviation market is a highly competitive sector within the tourism industry as it holds a crucial place when it comes to international travel. Leveraging the resources that HNA-Caissa has in the leisure cruise market, the firm works with HNA Airlines and Beijing-based Capital Airlines, jointly launching 18 international services in the last twelve months, resulting in a substantial contribution to the business’s bottom line.
In the past 21 years, HNA-Caissa has constantly transformed itself by adopting a business model based on creativity and through the ongoing globalization of its management and operations. While celebrating its first anniversary as a listed company with people from all over the world who love to travel, love life and love to dream, HNA-Caissa promises to deliver on what the firm has set out as its goals and, for each person, make that little but important difference in their life.