Japan-based Rakuten Travel, one of the largest instant travel booking websites in Asia, has announced plans to accelerate its China expansion.

Rakuten Travel launched its Chinese website three years ago, and Lin Weiming, general manager of Rakuten Travel's Chinese website "Lv Zhi Chuang", disclosed that until now, they have signed agreements with 1877 hotels in China and 1788 hotels in Japan.

Lin says by the end of September, they will also initiate air ticket booking services in China.

In 2005, the travel market scale of China reached CNY528.6 billion. But according to statistics from the China National Tourism Administration, the online travel volume in China last year was only CNY4 billion to CNY5 billion, accounting for 1% of the total travel market.

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