In Ctrip’s seemingly unending quest to be the indispensable travel app for Chinese travelers, the company revealed the 2018 version of what has been dubbed its “Michelin style” travel food guide.
Ctrip’s “Gourmet List” has been around since 2016, but made its international debut when the 2018 list recently launched in Thailand. It’s hard to gauge the success of the project since its inception, although Ctrip notes that ratings for 15,000 restaurants in 120 destinations around the world are available on the platform. By the end of the year, Ctrip plans on having eatery ratings for 150 destinations.
While comparisons to Michelin are common when it comes to Ctrip’s Gourmet List, it’s clear that it will never be able to fully complete with the authoritative reputation of Michelin. Of course, that’s also not the point. The point of the list is seemingly less about making Ctrip a global authoritative food rating resource, but rather making it authoritative for mainstream Chinese tourists. The list has a much larger variety of restaurants, not all of them necessarily carry the price tag associated with “gourmet dining.”
This is something Gourmet List CEO Kimi Liu was quick to point out in a recent interview with Travel Daily Media. When Liu was asked if the comparison to Michelin was appropriate, he responded by saying, “Not exactly. We try to cater for all different levels and Ctrip Gourmet List is divided into three different segments: Ctrip Stars, which is more like Michelin and is focused on fine dining restaurants; Ctrip Select, which looks at affordable but still high quality eateries; and Ctrip Flavour which features regional, less well known locations serving authentic regional food.”
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