e-Tourism is increasing rapidly in China


In this article, we are going to speak about a sector that is increasing rapidly in China: e-tourism. It represents all the activities of tourism on Internet (also called electronic or numeric tourism). This article will present the numbers and the trends of this sector which is developing very fast and we’ll see the mains actors on the Chinese market.


At the beginning, two strong trends: the tourism and the e-business

One of the reasons of the good health of the e-tourism in China is the fact that it implies two trends that are strongly developing these last years in China: the tourism and the e-business.

Concerning the Chinese tourism, China is recently positioned as the first country in terms of expenses at the international. Indeed, in 2012, they spent 102 billions of dollars, putting them before Germany and US. The number of outward-bound tourists reached 83 millions in 2012. In few years, China should be at the first position of the global tourism in terms of reception and emission of tourists.


China has the most important number of active users on Internet with 546 millions connected Chinese. This number is superior to the EU’s population (504 millions). Chinese people are also 420 millions to use their mobile to connect to Internet.


Concerning the e-business, figures are also impressive: in 2012, June, there are 242 millions of Chinese cyber-buyers. With +25% between 2011 and 2012, it is one of the activities that have the most important growth. The very serious BCG office announces that China will become the first global market of e-business in 2015.

Thus, we can see that China will be positioned before the other countries in terms of e-business and tourism.


How e-tourism arrived?

As every cyber-buyers, Chinese people organize more and more their own trips on line and their expenses are growing.

A current market study of e-marketer, a specialized office in numeric studies, underlines the fact that among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China), China is at the first position since 2010 and this until 2016 concerning the online sales. These numbers are resumed in the following graph.



Tree main actors are sharing the market

When we analyze the e-tourism sector in China, we notice that 3 main actors are sharing the market: Ctrip, Elong and Qunar. The China Internet Watch office has recently underlined the market shares of the different companies present on the Chinese market .We can clearly see that the leaders are Ctrip and Elong. Qunar has a particular status because it is not really an online travel agency rather than a comparator that uses Ctrip and Elong. The results of market shares are detailed in the following graph.

market shares travel agency

We clearly see that Ctrip is dominating with almost 50% of the market shares, thanks to the 12 000 employees and the knowledge in Chinese expectations.

Concerning the traffic, Qunar is at the first position. Indeed, the website attracts around 80 millions of unique visitors per month according to the Iresearch Chinese marketing office. The current merger with the Chinese search engine Baidu is one of the success explications. These on-line trends are also the result of the fact that Chinese tourists now avoid travel agencies.


A future leader?

These trends and numbers show us again that China imposes itself more and more as a country that is going to become leader on the very competitive tourism sector. It is thus important for the big European and American actors to put in place efficient strategies to try to fight against this big challenger. To know more about how to attract Chinese tourists, click here.