“Ctrip is very different from a traditional Chinese company. In a sense, Chinese people respect authority, but at Ctrip, we respect numbers.”- Jane Jie Sun, CEO Ctrip
The following report is equally an analysis of Ctrip’s strategic and financial path and a study of the Chinese online travel market. Given Ctrip’s dominance of the industry in China, it is crucial to understand what they are doing to decipher the broader trends shaping the future.
As part of our primary research, we spent several weeks in Asia, including time at Ctrip headquarters meeting with management and specialists at the company. We attended the ITB China conference, visited the local offices of several hotel companies, and spoke with two of the most respected private equity investors in China. Given the complexities of the market in China, these interviews, which are included in the report, are even more crucial than usual. We also partnered with three companies to provide data and insights. YipitData provides us with granular reservation, room night, and property numbers. ForwardKeys offers flight booking trends for multiple countries in Asia, Europe, and North America for both inbound and outbound travel. Finally, Dragon Trail Interactive provided us with broad insights on the outbound market.
What follows is a 45,000-word report including interviews from the entire C-suite at Ctrip, executives from Skyscanner, TripAdvisor, and leading global hotel chains, and investors, along with data and research collaboration with specialists. China is a complex market, but has immense opportunities (and risks) for the travel industry.