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January 16, 2010

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Ten years of terrific tripping with Ctrip

TENTH birthdays are special and for, China's biggest online travel service provider, it's been 10 years of milestones. specializes in cheap airline tickets, discounted hotel reservations, package tours and information about comfortable and easy travel.

It has more than 30 million members, and counting.

Founded in 1999, Ctrip is headquartered in the Shanghai Hongqiao Linkong Economic Zone in Changning District and has branch offices in 12 other Chinese cities.

It has nearly 10,000 employees around China.

Since December 2003, it has been listed on Nasdaq.

"Great changes take place each year, yet our number of employees remains the constant," says Tang Lan,'s vice president of sales and marketing. He has been with the company for five years.

"At a time of economic downturn, the service industry faces unprecedented challenges and opportunities. We must tap all our courage and perseverance to explore new space for development."

Using information technology to link its member hotels and airlines, Ctrip established China's first nationwide online hotel and flight booking system. More than 60 million orders have been placed.

Ctrip focuses on four main areas: hotels, airline flights, packages and activities, and corporate travel management.

Its cooperation with more than 28,000 member hotels in 134 countries and regions has meant that monthly reservation volume is more than 1.3 million room nights.

It provides instant confirmation to members of hotel reservations. Ctrip guarantees low hotel prices and provides a wide range of hotel information, including panoramic digital images of facilities, customer reviews and e-maps.

Every month, airline reservation volume is more than 1.8 million and it cooperates with all major domestic and international airlines.

In terms of packages and activities, it offers comprehensive vacation products including DIY tours, overseas group tours, semi-DIY tours, road tours, DIY tour pass, limousine service and visa services.

With 20 departure cities and over 200 popular destinations, Ctrip records more than 80,000 individual trips a month.

Last year, Ctrip served 500,000 employees in more than 500 multinationals and major firms with both Chinese and foreign funding. Its corporate travel management is a stand-out.

VIP members enjoy value-added services such as discounts up to 50 percent off at more than 3,000 restaurants, entertainment centers and shops.

At the headquarters in Changning, almost 3,000 representatives staff the operation call center 24 hours a day.

Vice President Tang says technology is vital to provide more convenient and efficient services to customers via the Internet and other communication means.

Zhang Jie, a 28-year-old hotel employee, finds that information at Ctrip's online travel community is useful.

"In the past, Chinese travelers mainly acquired travel information from books or journals. By introducing its online destination exploration and travel community, Ctrip has transformed our traditional ways of researching travel in China," Zhang says.

"There are extensive travel blogs and photos provided by members. I can enjoy them freely and learn from other people's experiences."

Worldwide travel information concerning dining, accommodations, transport, destinations, shopping and recreation are covered in its online community.

Nowadays, Ctrip provides information and travel tips for nearly 560 destinations, 12,000 attractions and 28,000 hotels and major airlines worldwide.

"As the Expo is drawing near, we are making efforts to serve visitors coming from all over the world," says Tang. "Our goal now is to reach a monthly reservation volume of 2 million."


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