Ctrip: Have Chinese tourists developed a taste for the high life?

Guest Contributor

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Ctrip released its “2017 One Belt One Road Travel Report” (OBOR), at its recent 2nd Annual Hotel Summit held in Shanghai this week. Where over 750 global hotel group executives, industry experts, and key opinion leaders debated the how OBOR is conducive to the development of global tourism and travel. 

According to the report, as the catalyst for more outbound and inbound tourism, OBOR has benefited stakeholders through the revival of ancient silk and maritime routes. The report particularly highlights how OBOR is creating opportunities in the global hotel industry, where Ctrip is actively partnering with leading domestic and international hotels and hospitality companies.

Jane Jie Sun

For inbound travel, in 2016 OBOR helped to attract more than 7 million visitors to China, 3 million of which were from OBOR-participating countries – representing growth of over 200 percent growth as compared with 2015. In particular, China’s second and third-tier cities have seen a jump in the number of foreign travellers with many more options for high-quality, local accommodation as compared to the past.

In terms of outbound travel, in 2016, 10 million Chinese travellers visited OBOR-participating countries, up 71 percent from 2015, according to the report. In particular, travel to Thailand was up 91 percent, travel to Singapore up 47 percent and travel to Malaysia up 129 percent. Reflecting their increasing travel standards and budgets, more Chinese travellers are opting to stay in 4 & 5 star hotels, with 91 percent of travellers to Singapore and 88 percent of travellers to Bali and Koh Samui choosing to stay in high-end hotels.

Increased numbers of foreign and domestic travellers visiting regions such as Shaanxi and Gansu (up 53 percent and 50 percent since 2015, respectively), reflects the success of OBOR’s revival of ancient silk routes. While China’s first-tier coastal cities are still drawing the largest number of travellers, the report anticipates that growth in silk route regions will continue to be strong.

Commenting on the report, Jane Jie Sun, Ctrip’s chief executive officer (pictured above) said, “For the past several years, Ctrip has been working to deepen our cooperation with One Belt One Road participating countries to provide abundant travel options for the rapidly growing number of Chinese outbound travellers. Combined with the increasing importance Chinese travellers are placing on premium travel experience, including flights, hotels, and local transportation, we see enormous potential for forming partnerships with travel providers in the OBOR participating countries.”

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