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(LEAD) Chinese online travel agency Ctrip to expand business in S. Korea: CEO

All Headlines 14:02 October 10, 2018

(ATTN: CHANGES photo; ADDS background in 7th para; minor edits)

SEOUL, Oct. 10 (Yonhap) -- Chinese online travel giant Ctrip.com International will expand the services provided by its brand Trip.com in South Korea as the company moves to increase its presence in the global market, its CEO said Wednesday.

The company is planning to launch a Trip.com round-the-clock customer center in Seoul this month to cope with rising demand in the local market.

"We have been posting three-digit growth in South Korea every year, with air (travel) probably the strongest because Skyscanner has very good market share here," CEO Jane Sun said during a press conference in Seoul.

Ctrip has been expanding its overseas business, purchasing Edinburgh-based flight price comparison site Skyscanner in 2016 and rebranding its foreign business channel from Ctrip to Trip.com in late 2017.

Trip.com is currently available in 15 countries and has 300 million registered users.

"Still, our market share in South Korea is single-digit, very small. Thus, the growth potential is very huge," the CEO said.

According to government data, the number of outbound South Korean tourists came to 2.52 million in August, up 5.6 percent from a year ago.

As part of its expansion plan, Trip.com will begin airport pick-up services and sales of activity products in South Korea by the end of this year.

Headquartered in Shanghai, Ctrip's sales came to US$4.1 billion last year. It has some 37,000 employees, including 6,500 engineers.

In this photo, provided by Chinese online travel giant Ctrip.com International, the company's CEO Jane Sun speaks during a press conference in Seoul on Oct. 10, 2018. (Yonhap)


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