Ctrip CEO: brands must retain ‘local culture’
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Ctrip CEO: brands must retain ‘local culture’

Ctrip, China’s premier online travel agent, is bullish on international travel. And CEO Jane Sun is targeting future growth of as much as four times the industry average (10% - 12%) in part on the back of it. The company’s fortune in this area is driven by a range of acquisitions, and Sun says that its key they maintain their own identities and have the freedom to pursue strategies that made them such attractive acquisition targets in the first place.

Ctrip’s share price has risen by 4% over the last 5 days

graph 2609 ctrip

 

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Explaining her position on these companies, Sun says: “We acquired them because of their uniqueness. Travel Fusion, for example, is a wonderful business. They were doing 30% growth and now they are doing 100% growth. There’s never a need for a meeting of board members. Gareth (Williams, co-founder of Skyscanner) is a tech geek and he’s been very careful about finding a successor. Brian (Dove, CEO) used to work with Gareth at Microsoft and has followed Gareth and I have full confidence in their leadership.”

However, integration does face one particular barrier. Sun says: “Our employees are Chinese, they speak Chinese, so language is an issue – unlike Booking.com whose employees are more international. But we need to follow the footsteps of our customers.”

It’s also true that Ctrip has strong competition at home as well as abroad. On the day of the 12th TravelDaily Conference & Digital Travel Show, where Sun was addressing crowds, the ‘app for everything’ Meituan Dianping, made its debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The app has 300 million customers. However, Sun is unafraid, saying: “we do welcome competitors because they make us stronger.”

Disclosure

Dominion holds Ctrip in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.


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