Martial Ma Represents Chinese Travel Giant at ITB Berlin

An essential insider’s perspective on the tourism industry in China

Speaking exclusively to ITB Berlin News, Martial Ma, General Manager of International Partnership for Accommodation Business, Ctrip Group, explained how the company will leverage its presence at ITB Berlin 2017 to further expansion:

My team is in charge of globally collaborating with third-party partners outside of China to bring in Ctrip Group accommodation resources worldwide. Currently, we have established solid partnerships with thousands of suppliers all over the world via XML connectivity and the Ctrip Extranet System. Total production from them remains on a rapid three digit year on year growth ratio. From beginning of 2017, monthly production is nearly 20 times more than those of 2015. By attending ITB Berlin, we are aiming to let the world know Ctrip better. While discussing further cooperative possibilities with current partners, we also looking for new suppliers to join our “ecosystem”. As the largest tourism trade fair, ITB Berlin offers a great interactive platform for diverse international attendees to gather together, exchange insights and latest information about this fastchanging industry. It is also a very good opportunity to present your company or business in any travel field you are interested in, and to build those potential partners a best place for convenient face-toface networking.

China has become arguably everybody’s most interesting source market. What do you see as being the key trends in terms of the way your customers are buying travel?

Chinese outbound travellers are more mature and experienced indicated by following trends: – Compared with Group travellers, there is a larger year on year growth ratio of FIT travellers among our customers. – The so-called “Frequent Traveller” is increasingly a fitting description of Chinese FIT outbound travellers, which means they will probably travel more than once a year to Seoul, for example, if they hold an interest in this city. – Mobilization is another huge trend as over 50% of Ctrip overseas hotels bookings are generated from mobile app, and on-day bookings can account for 25% of production for suppliers with last minute availability. Actually, we now regard Ctrip more like a MTP (Mobile Travel Platform) than an OTA (Online Travel Agency).

What trends are you noting in terms of destination demand?

Distance, expenses, transportation accessibility and visa regulations all impact on destination demand. There are two basic trends we recognise from our customers from the perspective of destination selection.

  • Choices made by Chinese Outbound FIT travels for their holidays are not limited to familiar short-haul destinations such as Seoul and Bangkok. The percentage of bookings for longhaul destinations is under fasterpaced growth such as North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
  •  For traditionally popular destinations like Japan, footprints of Chinese travellers appear in cities other than Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. For instance, cities like Kyushu or Karuizawa are more aware among Chinese travellers now, which means Chinese travellers are not only fans of shopping but are ready to experience more via in-depth tours


May 10-12, Shanghai, will see the first ever ITB China – the new travel trade show exclusively focused on the Chinese Trade Market. ITB China partner, Ctrip is not only China’s biggest travel company, but one of the world’s largest online travel firms. Listed on the NASDAQ with a market cap over $20billion, the company now provides a range of travel services including accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours and corporate travel management, and is acquiring businesses both within China and beyond. Ctrip’s hotel reservation network includes around 1 million hotels in 200 countries and territories around the world, with air ticketing products covering over 5,000 cities on six continents