The value of China’s online travel market will reach 3.84 billion yuan
(519 million U.S. dollars) this year, with a projected growth rate of
70.7 percent, according to a nationwide survey.

survey showed that China’s online travel services market was worth 2.25
billion (300 million U.S.dollars) in 2007, with an estimated 65 percent
expansion for the industry from 2006.

Shanghai-based online travel service provider
(NASDAQ:CTRP) still held a steady command of the market with the
highest penetration in large primary and second-tier cities, the survey

"There are two reasons for the acceleration: the Beijing Olympic
Games and the further opening up of the domestic tourism market," said
Fu Zhihua, director of the Data Center of the China Internet (DCCI)
research department that conducted the survey.

The effect was felt industry-wide, benefiting other players such as
eLong (NASDAQ: LONG), China’s second-biggest online travel agency, and
Mango launched by the Hong Kong China Travel Services (HKCTS)
in 2005.

The survey indicated that in two or three years, traditional and online travel agents will keep consolidating.

The Netguide 2008 survey also forecast the trade volume would rise to 7.32 billion yuan (989 million U.S. dollars) in 2009.

The survey, begun in January 2007, polled more than 300 websites, 270 enterprises and 50,786 people around the country.

Via China Daily