Chinese travellers increasingly looking for premium products and services

Ctrip celebrates 20th anniversary next year – targeting further growth across the APAC region

With its headquarters in Shanghai, China, Ctrip, Asia’s largest OTA, has experienced rapid growth since its inception in 1999. We asked Victor Tseng, Chief Communications Officer at Ctrip to tell us more about the business and its commitment to ITB Asia.

SINCE THE REBRANDING LAST YEAR, WE HAVE WITNESSED THE GROWTH OF TRIP.COM ESPECIALLY IN THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION

Ctrip is a leading provider in accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, package tours, corporate travel management and other travel-related services. It has been listed on NASDAQ since 2003, with a market capitalisation of roughly US$20 bn. It has 37,000 employees globally and strives to provide one-stop travel products and services over several brands and platforms.

How long have you been coming to ITB Asia, and what have been the highlights to date?

Ctrip has been proactively participating in ITB Asia for the several years. ITB Asia has always provided a stage for our different business divisions to meet with business partners and fellow peers within the travel industry. Many Chinese travellers visit Asian countries, with Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia always ranking as top outbound destinations.

Last year, Ctrip Group CEO Jane Sun spoke on the Chinese outbound travellers who have become one of the largest travel markets in the world. ITB Asia offers an opportunity for Ctrip to share insights of Chinese travellers and also helps us understand different consumers across Asia. With the launch of Trip.com, Ctrip Group’s international brand, ITB Asia helps us develop better products and services for all of our consumers across Asia.

In your opening keynote at ITB Asia yesterday, you talked about the challenging international travel market. What are the key trends?

With rising customer expectations and rapidly-changing technology, I questioned how we as an industry can evolve to meet these challenges. I shared my insights on how travel is changing, what are some of the future trends and new technologies that Ctrip is watching, and what global growth strategies that Ctrip is pursuing. In terms of trends, we have seen an increase in Chinese travellers seeking high quality products and services. For instance, during the recent national holiday, approximately 90% of Ctrip customers booked four-diamond and five-diamond outbound package tour products.

We have also seen an increase in demand for unique experiences, and Ctrip customised travel saw a 130% growth in Q2 compared to Q1 of this year.

According to Crip’s latest report on the 2018 Chinese National Holiday travel trends, nine out of the 10 most visited regions by Chinese travellers are in Asia. Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore ranked one to five respectively. Asia is a very important market for Ctrip Group and we are always looking to cater to the needs of our customers. ITB Asia provides a wonderful opportunity to meet with current and potential partners. It’s a platform for exchanging ideas, discussing trends and new technologies. We hope to connect with new suppliers and partners not only in Asia but around the world.

What is Ctrip’s key priorities for the future?

We want to be able to offer a range of different products to meet the diverse needs of our consumers. Our teams are continuously working with local partners and suppliers to increase our range of competitive offerings.

At Ctrip we are very customer centric, if we find that there is a need, we work to provide services accordingly. For example, we have seen a growth in family trips among our Chinese travellers. Due to this we have developed new products and services, we now offer more family friendly options for hotel rooms to make family travel easier.

This year we would also like to accentuate Trip.com. Since the rebranding last year, we have witnessed the growth of Trip. com especially in the Asia Pacific region. We are continuously working to provide better products and services overall Trip.com platforms. Trip.com operates a 24/7 customer call centre providing services around the clock. We recently opened a customer service centre in Seoul, Korea to provide quality customer service to Korean consumers.


Photo: Victor Tseng, Chief Communications Officer, Ctrip