Ctrip.com International, China’s leading travel-booking website, looks to boost its global reach in an expanded partnership with Priceline Group, the world’s largest online travel firm, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Priceline will invest US$500 million in a Ctrip convertible bond, and may acquire more shares on the open market, bringing its stake up to 10 per cent.
For Priceline, Ctrip presents an inroad to China’s online travel market.
Ctrip’s smaller rival eLong is 65 per cent owned by Expedia. Priceline users will be able to book Ctrip’s hotel listings in China, numbering over 100,000, though inbound travel to China is limited.
The real action is in leaving China, and this is where Ctrip gets the bigger boost.
Its Chinese customers will get access to over half a million of Priceline’s hotel listings around the world, as well as its rental-car and restaurant-booking services.
Overseas travel accounts for around 10 per cent of Ctrip’s revenue and is likely to grow fast. Overseas trips could hit 112 million this year, nearly double their level four years ago, according to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute.
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