Ignoring China isn’t an option. Chinese travelers account for a fifth of all tourism spending worldwide. That amounts to 130 million international trips taken by Chinese travelers at a cost of USD 258 billion in 2017.
Speaking at the Phocusright travel conference in Los Angeles last week, Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom acknowledged that, for now, the company doesn’t “have a real chance of winning” in the domestic Chinese market.
Instead, the firm is focused on capturing Chinese travelers bound for international destinations.
“We haven’t given up on China,” he said. “Our big brands - Expedia, Hotels.com - are absolutely serving Chinese travelers.” International customers account for 38% of Expedia’s gross bookings, a figure that Okerstrom would like to grow.
Asked about what types of acquisitions he’d like Expedia to make in the future, Okerstrom cited two areas: the corporate travel market, to bolster the company’s Egencia business travel company; and the growing opportunity in China.
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