TripAdvisor’s acquisition last week of Kuxun.cn, China’s number two travel search engine, kicked off its ambitious investment plan of US$50 million in China’s burgeoning tourism market over the next two years.
Kuxun will join many other Expedia-owned online travel companies in challenging China’s number one online travel company, Ctrip, whose market share is five times bigger than that of its nearest rival. These include eLong (China’s number two online travel agency acquired by Expedia in 2004), Daodao (the recently launched Chinese travel-review Web site owned by TripAdvisor), and Egencia China (the travel management unit).
In recent years, Expedia has demonstrated the synergy inherent in its multi brand strategy and has built unparalleled competitive advantage over its competitors. It will take a long time to prove the combination of eLong+Kuxun+Daodao+Egencia is working in China, but according to PhoCusWright’s Emerging Online Travel Marketplace in China, players like Kuxun and Qunar are indeed gaining traction. In the otherwise dominant story of Ctrip, one area where competitors are mounting a significant challenge is in providing tools in the travel discovery phase. The media model enables intermediaries to bypass some of the challenges associated with automated online fulfillment in China and represents a great opportunity for growth and investment.
The senior executives from Ctrip, Expedia, eLong, Daodao and Qunar will speak at the China Travel Distribution Summit in partnership with PhoCusWright, December 2-3 in Shenzhen, China. The program reveals how multinational travel companies should develop their China entry strategy and how social media and travel search companies work together to offer the one-stop-shopping experience to the Chinese consumer.
Register before November 20 to save US$100 off the regular ticket price of $650. Use the special PhoCusWright discount code “CTS008” for an additional $50 discount.
PhoCusWright’s Emerging Online Travel Marketplace in China
Purchase by November 6, 2009 and save US$200 off the regular price of $995.