PhoCusWright Predicts Surging Demand in China’s Travel Market
By David Cogswell
June 14, 2012 10:22 PM
According to a report from PhoCusWright, China's travel market has undergone explosive growth and will nearly double between 2008 and 2013. PhoCusWright released a new Asia Pacific and Global Edition report that shows surging demand for travel products in China and significant commitments to the online space by some of the country's largest e-commerce and Internet players, which are driving strong growth in China's travel industry.
According to PhoCusWright's “China Online Travel Overview Fifth Edition: The Giant Has Awoken,” travel bookings in China will surpass $105 billion in 2013, of which more than $15 billion will be made online. The online travel market will grow by some 500 percent between 2008 and 2013, fueled by rapid adoption of the Internet for commerce and a range of high-profile investments and partnerships among the country's leading Internet and online travel firms. In 2011, Baidu (the country's dominant search engine) became the majority shareholder in Qunar, the leading travel metasearch and trip-planning site, while leading Internet services provider Tencent and e-commerce giant Alibaba among others have invested aggressively in online travel.
"Online travel is hardly new in China, yet with such strong growth for the total travel market and rapidly changing consumer behavior, online travel is experiencing the raw, meteoric growth we have typically seen only in nascent online markets,” said Douglas Quinby, senior director, research at PhoCusWright. "Online travel is also unfolding with the distinct characteristics of China's unique Internet landscape. It is shaped not only by online travel agencies and supplier websites, but also by the major media portals, social networks, online shopping malls, online payment challenges and the need for offline support and fulfillment. Our report examines this enormous, but incredibly distinct opportunity for the global travel industry."