(Yicai Global) June 25 -- Online travel agency Ctrip.Com International is seeking to expand its catering services by developing its overseas market, to which end it has issued its own restaurant evaluation list to compete with Michelin and Meituan-Dianping.
Ctrip Gourmet, Ctrip's institute for gourmet appraisal, released its 2018 'Local Restaurant Recommendation' Gourmet List on June 22 in Bangkok, Thailand, marking the first publication of a Chinese eatery list in a foreign country, state media The Paper reported.
Ctrip's list inevitably invokes thoughts of the authoritative appraisal agency Michelin Guide and China's local catering service platform Meituan-Dianping. To set up a widely-accepted catering appraisal system independent from these two gastronomic Gargantuas is no easy matter, however.
Meituan-Dianping does not enjoy the same advantages in the overseas markets as it has in China's domestic catering market, meaning the Ctrip Gourmet List still has great leeway to expand abroad.
In contrast to the Michelin Guide which centers on non-Chinese tastes, Ctrip's Gourmet List focuses on Chinese people's catering culture and customs and its evaluations are closer to Chinese people's tastes and preferences. This difference generates the advantage enabling it to compete with Michelin abroad.
The company will hasten its development of businesses all over the world, said Liu Xiaozhou, Ctrip Gourmet List's chief executive. The ranking now encompasses 120 of the world's main tourism destinations, 35 of which are in China. That number is set to rise to 150 by year's end. Chinese tourists' travel destinations will determine which overseas cities ultimately make the list.
Ctrip plans to release its list in these cities, with Bangkok as the first, in which 303 restaurants have made the cut, with nine appraised as Star Restaurants (two two-star and seven one-star restaurants), 206 as Prime Restaurants and 88 Tasty Restaurants. Ctrip will release local gourmet lists in Japan and other overseas travel destinations thereafter.
Editor: Ben Armour