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携程网喜迎中国年

Eamon Barrett 2019年02月12日

携程网表示,泰国、日本和印度尼西亚会是今年春节最受中国游客欢迎的海外?#25991;?#30340;地。

一年一度的人口大迁移已基本结束。据政府官员称,中国14亿人口在2月5日农历新年前后出行的人数达到30亿人次。这是物流界的噩梦,中国的机场、火车站和高速公路都堵满了。但是,?#26434;?#20013;国在线旅游代理行业的领军企业携程旅行网来说,这也是赚得盆满钵满的几天。

在线旅游代理商携程网在纳斯达克上市,市值200亿美元,拥有中国在线旅游行业60%的份额,是全球第二大在线旅游代理商(OTA),成交金额(通过公司平台销售服务的总价值)仅次于Priceline Group。携程总部位于上海,2016年收购机票比价网站天巡网(Sky Scanner),在美国以Trip.com运营,该公司预计在春节期间为3.9亿人次中国游客提供国内旅游服务、700万人次出境游服务。

携程网表示,泰国、日本和印度尼西亚会是今年春节最受中国游客欢迎的海外?#25991;?#30340;地。美国排名第7,与2017年持平。携程的联合创始人及执行主席梁建章于1月表示,他认为正在进行的中美贸易战不会影响中国人的旅游计划。

梁建章在硅谷软件公司甲骨文(Oracle)工作了8年后,于1999年创建了旅游比价网站携程网。红?#30002;?#26412;中国基金(Sequoia Capital China)创始人兼现任执行合伙人沈南鹏、携程总裁范敏、董事总经理季琦同为联合创始人。

公司最初的业务收入来自酒店预订,在互联网泡沫破灭、投?#25910;?#36164;本枯竭后,携程网扩展到了这一业务领域。两年后,该公司新增了航班预订服务,之后又推出了旅游套餐、商务旅行、公交车票、火车票和旅游物流业务。

携程2003年在纳斯达克上市以来,市值已经增长至首次公开发售前估值的40倍,年收入从2004年的4030万美元飙升至2017年的41亿美元。

“中国人的购买力摆在那,”首席执行官孙洁说,她在硅谷金融部门工作了12年后于2005年加入公司担任首席财务官。“2017年,我们推出了22个高端旅游套餐,单价20万美元,17秒就卖光了。”

根据麦肯锡咨询公司(McKinsey & Company)的数据,2017年中国出境游?#27599;?#25968;达到1.31亿人次,共消费2500亿美元。麦肯锡预计2020年将增长到1.6亿人次和3500亿美元。目前只有5%的中国公民持有护照,出境?#20301;?#26377;巨大的增长空间,这也是携程被列入《财富》杂志“未来50强”名单的原因之一,这些公司被认为具有强劲的增长前景。

携程的技术实力是其优势之一。孙洁表示,该公司大?#23458;?#36164;ABC领域——人工智能(artificial intelligence,A)、大数据(big data,B)和云计算(cloud computing,C),利用公司的专有数据分析向客户推送有针对性的广告,帮助酒店等合作伙伴预测旺季日期。

2017年,携程根据客户的预订历史创建了一个信用评级系统,这种做法在中国尤其前卫。孙洁在致股东的信中解释道,信用评?#32440;?#39640;的客户将享有抵达后再付款等特权,服务商还可以通过该系?#22330;?#26356;好地了解他们将服务的客户类型”。

?#27426;?#20013;国最强大的科技巨头阿里巴巴和腾讯也都投资了旅游市场。阿里巴巴于2014年成立的旅游部门飞猪旅行已经抢走了携程在机票销售中的份额,根据分析公司Trust Data的数据,腾讯投资的美团旅游在去年的酒店预订量超过了携程。

携程的高管经常否认美团或阿里巴巴对自身业务造成了威胁的说法,这或许也合理。中国的出境游市场仍然十分不饱和,因此有足够的空间容纳多个玩家。(财富中文网)

译者:Agatha

The largest annual human migration was finished. China’s 1.7 billion population made 3 billion trips around Chinese New Year on February 5, according to government officials. It’s a logistical nightmare, clogging China’s airports, train stations and highways with traffic. But, for China’s leading online travel agent Ctrip.com International, it’s also a giant pay day.

The $20 billion Nasdaq-listed travel agent occupies 60% of China’s online travel industry and is the world’s second-largest online travel agent (OTA) after Priceline Group in terms of gross merchandise value, which measures the total value of services sold through a company’s platform. The Shanghai-based Ctrip, which bought flight comparison site Sky Scanner in 2016 and operates in the U.S. as Trip.com, expects to service 390 million domestic and seven million outbound trips by Chinese tourists this Chinese New Year.

According to Ctrip, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia will be the most popular overseas destinations for China’s tourists this New Year. The U.S. ranks number seven on that list, the same place it held in 2017. Ctrip co-founder and executive chairman James Liang said in January that he doesn’t expect China’s ongoing trade war with the U.S. to affect Chinese travel plans.

Liang founded Ctrip as a travel comparison site in 1999 after working eight years at Silicon Valley software company Oracle. Neil Shen, now founder and managing partner at Sequoia Capital China, joined as Liang’s co-founder along with Ctrip president Min Fan and board director Qi Ji.

The company’s first revenues came from hotel bookings, into which Ctrip expanded after the dotcom bubble burst and investor capital dried up. Two years later the company added flight reservations to its portfolio of services, then package holidays, corporate travel, bus tickets, train tickets and travel logistics.

Since 2003, when the company listed on Nasdaq, its market cap has swollen to 40-times its pre-IPO value and annual revenues have surged from $40.3 million in 2004 to $4.1 billion in 2017.

“The buying power is there, in China,” says CEO Jane Sun, who joined the company as CFO in 2005 after spending 12 years working in Silicon Valley finance. “In 2017 we offered 22 high-end tour packages priced at $200,000 each. It only took us 17 seconds to sell them all.”

According to McKinsey & Company, Chinese tourists made 131 million trips overseas in 2017 and spent a total $250 billion. The consultancy expects those figures to grow to 160 million and $350 billion by 2020. With only 5% of Chinese citizens owning a passport, outbound travel has exceptional room for growth and is one of the reasons why Ctrip was included amongst Fortune’s list of “Future 50” companies with strong growth prospects.

Ctrip’s tech prowess is one of its strengths. Sun says the company invests heavily in ABC – artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing – and uses its proprietary data analytics to do things like push targeted adverts towards customers and help business partners such as hotels predict peak periods.

In 2017 Ctrip created a credit rating system – ever more the vogue in China – based on customer’s booking history. In a letter to shareholders, Sun explained that customers with higher credit scores will enjoy perks, such as deferring payment until arrival, and the system also allows service providers to “get a better sense of what kind of customers they will serve.”

However China’s two most formidable tech titans, Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, are both invested in the travel market too. Alibaba’s travel unit Fliggy, launched in 2014, has chipped away at Ctrip’s share in flight sales and, according to analytics company Trust Data, Tencent-backed Meituan Travel surpassed Ctrip in hotel bookings by volume last year.

Ctrip’s executives have routinely dismissed the idea that Meituan or Alibaba poses a threat to their own business and maybe that’s fair. With China’s outbound travel market still so unsaturated, there’ll be room for more than one player.

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