Ctrip’s tour operations surge 50% in 2014
Ctrip’s biggest advantage is its branding and a one-stop service model with full responsibility for service quality throughout each sales stage.
ChinaTravelNews - Ctrip’s tour operations grew more than 50% to total RMB5 billion (approx：US798 million) in 2014.
Ctrip’s travel operations general manager Yong Wang said that group tours are the company’s core business and contribute to half of the company’s income. In the first three quarters, tour operations had three to four billion yuan in turnover. He thinks Ctrip’s biggest advantage is its branding and a one-stop service model. “Ctrip sets itself apart from other websites by taking full responsibility for service quality from the moment customers sign contracts and throughout each sales stage,” he said.
Yet, the rising popularity of OTA tour travel is leading to increased friction with traditional tour operators. “Consumer habits are changing and customers are searching online for tour packages with smartphones instead of consulting an agency,” an industry observer said. “Products, technology and service are the key factors for the consumer shift to online, and it is now the biggest travel industry trend. Further developments in online travel are solving industry issues such as data disparity, limited product selection and inconvenient booking services. Users can search destinations and browse through thousands of tour products worldwide, as well as do price and product comparing comparison on Ctrip’s website and app,” he said.
Individual platform operations, second-tier cities and smartphone bookings are the forces driving Ctrip’s soaring tour travel operations. Mr. Wang said, “Ctrip launched China’s largest open platform last year releasing offerings from more than 1,000 nationwide travel companies and 743 international and domestic destinations on its website and app. Its tour operation volume rose 15 times and total trips had grown nearly 300% y-o-y in the first three quarters of 2014.”
Ctrip’s top three overseas tour travel destinations were Korea, Thailand and Japan and top domestic destinations were Zhejiang, Yunnan and Jiangsu. Second- and third- tier cities had the fastest growth as departure points and Ctrip’s online booking service network now covers 88 cities in China. Smartphone bookings has also reached almost 50% of total orders in some cities now.(Translation by David)