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Ctrip CEO: Positive outlook for China's outbound tourism | Updated: 2019-05-17 14:39
Ctrip CEO Sun Jie delivers a keynote speech at the ITB China banquet. [Photo provided to]

Sun Jie, CEO of Ctrip, one of China's largest online travel agencies, said she had confidence in the robust growth outlook for outbound Chinese tourism.

She made the remarks at the third ITB China held in Shanghai from May 15 to 17. The event is a trade fair specializing in the Chinese market organized by the world's largest travel trade show, ITB Berlin.

"At present, China's urbanization is under 60 percent and it is expected that it will take 10 to 20 years to reach 70 to 80 percent as in developed countries," Sun said. "Furthermore, only 10 percent of Chinese hold private passports, compared with 40 percent of US residents, which shows the potential for China's outbound tourism to continue growing."

According to statistics from China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the number of outbound trips made by Chinese residents reached about 150 million in 2018, maintaining China's status as the country with the largest number of outbound tourists and representing a 14.7 percent increase from a year ago.

During the recent four-day Labor Day holiday, as many as 4 million Chinese traveled internationally.

Furthermore, Ctrip data revealed a new trend of growing numbers of tourists from third- and fourth-tier cities going abroad. Over the holiday, Chinese tourists visited 903 destinations in more than 90 countries and regions via group tours, independent trips and customized tours.

As China's leading online travel agency, Ctrip has been actively increasing its presence abroad. Ctrip's gross merchandise volume reached 725 billion yuan ($105 billion) in 2018.

Sun said in an earlier interview that Ctrip serves more than 300 million customers through its online and offline platforms, and almost half are from overseas. Ctrip is proud to extend the same high-quality service with a fast response to customers in China and across the globe on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year.

According to Ctrip's latest financial results, revenue from its international business accounts for 30 to 35 percent of the group's total revenue.

Ctrip has set up offices in Southeast Asia, South Korea, Japan, Australia and many other destinations to localize products and services., the company's international platform, now offers customer service in 19 languages and operates three overseas call centers in Edinburgh, Seoul and Tokyo.

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