Chinese online travel provider Ctrip.com (CTRP) has launched a new hotel reservation platform to include approximately 25,000 hotels overseas.

Through direct contracting with hotels and alliance with international wholesalers, Ctrip says it has established a substantial overseas hotel network that spans over low-, middle- and high-end hotels. With increasing outbound travel demand in China, Ctrip expects more customers to search and reserve overseas hotels through a consolidated online channel.

The initiation of the new overseas hotel booking platform allows customers to make convenient and cost effective selections among a variety of overseas hotels.

Min Fan, Chief Executive Officer of Ctrip said, "The new hotel booking platform enables us to enrich the content, enhance user experience, and expand the outbound business. Hotel reservation business remains to be the largest contributor to our overall portfolio, we are committed to providing the best services to our customers."

By stepping into overseas hotel reservations, Ctrip will be finding itself surrounded by more competition. Chinese travel websites like ChinaTravelNow.com and eLong.com (LONG) have already been offering similar services for many years.

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