"The online travel market has been a bright spot throughout the tech industry's dark times. Despite intense competition, it's a very good market niche to be in," commented Godfrey Hui, CEO of TEDA Travel Group.
In addition to simplified navigation, the company intends to differentiate itself by providing unique features in the reservation network. "Features such as lowest rate guarantee and a customized booking experience are currently not found in the web-based offerings of any of competitors in China," said Mr. Hui. The two largest online travel service providers in China are Ctrip and Elong.
China's fast-growing travel industry, worth US$47 billion in 2002, is now an estimated US$70 billion annual industry. With the Olympics in 2008 and the Shanghai World Fair in 2010, growth rates are projected between12% and 15% annually.
"Chinese leisure and business travel will continue to fuel growth in our industry," continued Mr. Hui. "However, international travel into China is expected to keep growth rates in double digits for the foreseeable future. The World Travel Organization predicts that China will become the number 1 global tourism destination by 2020."
The new TEDA system is planning to launch before the summer.