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Free Car-sharing Services Now Available in Lijiang

Those traveling to Yunnan may now be able to enjoy free car-sharing services for independent travel on personalized routes, according to the car-sharing service launch ceremony in Lijiang on April 6.

Chinese automaker Dongfeng Xiaokang Motor Company announced its cooperation with the Lijiang Encounter Time Inn in providing free car-sharing services to customers of the inn.

The Lijiang Encounter Time Inn is a hotel chain with branches serviceing scenic spots in Lijiang. According to the agreement with Dongfeng, hotel guests may drive the sharable cars and park them at inns, train stations, airports and scenic spots anytime via an app.

Zhang Zhengyuan, general manager of the Dongfeng Xiaokang Motor Company, pointed out that accommodation and transportation services are important to tourism, a factor which encouraged Dongfeng to cooperate with the Lijiang Encounter Time Inn.

“In the next three years, Dongfeng will launch 100 vehicles for hotel guests in Yunnan,” said Zhang.

According to Dongfeng’s research, about 95 percent of tourists are willing to take a road trip through the free service offered by the company. Even among those who can’t drive, 80 percent are willing to share the service with others. Homestays are rapidly growing in appeal among individual tourists instead of traditional holiday packages. These inns tend to prioritize customer experience over luxury, offering both staff and guests a relaxing atmosphere featuring local Naxi or Muosuo ethnic decor.

Zhang claims the new sharable vehicle service model is bound to become a hit based on Yunnan’s huge tourism market.

Yunnan currently boasts 6,466 inns with homestay services, drawing 431 million visitors last year to top the national tourism list, according to the authority statistics.