Chinese online travel behemoth Ctrip had a USD 6 billion loss in market capitalization this year, largely due to the trade war between China and the US, which has hit consumer spending on overseas trips, the company's CEO Ms. Jane Sun told Financial Times.
Some 80 million cross-border trips were made in the first half of this year, up 16% year-on-year, according to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, which projects that rate of growth will slow in the second half of 2018.
Ms. Sun said she expects revenue growth to remain strong even though profits are growing more slowly. She said Ctrip would not change its strategy, which includes investing in initiatives such as chatbots enabled by artificial intelligence to handle customer queries, and added that the company would keep headcount stable next year to control costs.
Ms. Sun said China still has much room to grow, “If GDP is growing 5%-6%, travel will be 8%-9%, and we will be double that.”
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