China’s online travel booking slowed in 2018 as the growth rate of transaction size fell to single digit for the first time in five years, at 9.3% year-on-year, according to a report on China’s online vacation travel booking released by Chinese Business information platform Analysys on July 24.
As travel experience is increasingly valued, accommodation and holiday travel are capturing a bigger market share in online travel booking, but transportation shows a smaller market share.
Accommodation, vacation travel, and transportation are the three major parts in the online travel booking market.
From 2012 to 2018, online booking of vacation travel showed robust momentum and great potential in further growth – the compound growth rate increased 42.97%, slightly higher than the 41.76% of the overall travel booking on the Internet.
Online transaction for vacation travel totaled 105.18 billion yuan (US$15.29 billion) in 2018, representing a nominal increase of 11%, which was a slower rate than previous year.
The online booking for domestic vacation grew faster than outbound vacation in 2018 due to tense international relations and slowing macroeconomic growth in China, though the share of outbound travel was still higher at 54.3%.
Analysys believes China’s online vacation travel market is shifting from growth in numbers to improvement in quality, as Chinese travelers are more familiar with online consumption and various policies are being made to support domestic vacation.
In addition, the convenience offered by mobile travel booking and payment help travelers focus on enhancing their travel experience, making it important for OTAs to offer destination options.
China’s OTAs, notably Ctrip, Tuniu, Fliggy and Mafengwo, are using content marketing tools, including live broadcasting and short videos, to influence consumer decisions before their travel. (Translated by Juli)