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China’s travel market online: from “busy” to “crazy busy”

Although China is the largest source market in the tourism sector it still lacks a sustainable structure. This became evident during a panel discussion at the eTravel Startup Day during ITB Berlin 2019. The responses by online players from China when asked to describe the market in a word ranged from “busy” to ”super busy” and even ”crazy busy”. Jay You, a partner in Yuantai Investment Partners of Shanghai, admitted that, with his investments “we are creating new bubbles”, and it is far from certain that they will not burst prematurely. It is therefore important to think quickly and efficiently but also for the long term, when setting up a lasting infrastructure. Margaret Feng from the Chinese online travel agency Ctrip said: “We are becoming more and more open”, which also means: internally, to receive new ideas. At the same time it is vital to ensure that this does not involve cannibalizing established systems for attracting and serving customers. Many developers on the travel market would initially ignore customers’ interests. Wei Xia from the online marketing services provider Derbysoft caused surprise when expressing a regret at the difficulty in obtaining relevant user data in China, in the way that Airbnb does. In view of the continuing strong growth in the country You expressed the conviction: “If you don’t grow you will die.”

Thomas Rietig



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