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Chinese online travel agency to focus on its mobile market

By Wang Wen | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-09-12 20:12

Ctrip.com International, China's largest online travel agency by market share, will focus more on its mobile site as it has already been the main channel for the agency's bookings, the company's executive said on Thursday.

In July and August, hotel bookings through the agency's mobile app accounted for over 40 percent of its total bookings, exceeding the number through its website.

"It is a milestone for the whole industry entering the mobile era," said Liang Jianzhang, CEO of Ctrip.

For other Chinese online travel agencies, the mobile business has become more important.

eLong Inc, one of Ctrip's main rivals focusing on hotel booking, which launched its smartphone app in 2011, also got 20 percent of its hotel bookings from its mobile site in the second quarter of 2013, and the percentage will be 25 percent in the third quarter, according to its financial report.

Meanwhile, online travel agencies are updating their mobile apps to keep up with competition.

Ctrip launched the fifth version of its mobile application on Thursday, and the new version included self-guided tours and international hotel booking.

The app will be the agency's developing direction in the future, Liang said, although he is still uncertain what advances lie ahead.

"The technology is developing so fast, and I do not know what will happen in the future," he said.

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