Ctrip extends travel services to SE Asian holiday-makers

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SINGAPORE - One of China's largest Online Travel Agency (OTA) Ctrip has opened its South-east Asian headquarters in Singapore, extending its services to travellers in the region.

This move for the public listed company represents its greater commitment to its regional efforts.

Earlier in April, it launched 4 local language sites so customers can browse in English, Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesia or Bahasa Malaysia.

Like most OTAs that offer hotel and flight bookings, Ctrip also offers packaged tours, corporate travel management and train bookings in addition.

What this means for the Singaporean traveller is access to Ctrip's inventory of China hotels, airlines and packaged tours.

It claims, on its website, to have the "biggest China network" with over 300,000 China hotels and 2,500 China flight routes.

If you want to take the train in China, tickets can be purchased on Ctrip's website or mobile platform - the only English-language booking platform in China.

Other than specialising in China travel, Ctrip also recognises that nearby destinations like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong are popular among South-east Asian travellers.

Hence, their entry into the regional market could mean more competitively priced products and greater coverage, challenging other OTAs' offerings and potentially benefiting price-conscious consumers.