Years after its investment in struggling Chinese online travel service provider eLong.com, Expedia, one of the world's largest online corporate travel service operators, now formally brings its corporate travel services to China.
Top management from Expedia has disclosed to local media that the company has just set up an office and a call center in China to promote their corporate travel service in the country.
Jean-Pierre Remy, president of the Expedia Corporate Travel Group, believes there are a lot of opportunities for Expedia in China now that there are few professional corporate travel providers. Remy says they will introduce their international clients to the Chinese market as the first step of their development in the country, and they believe that eLong will also offer them much support with the local resources. However, Remy also realizes that online corporate travel is not so widely received in the Asian countries, including China, as it is in Europe, therefore he says Expedia will launch a series of localization policies after its entry into China. The company already has stiff competition as Chinese websites like 51MICE.com already command hundreds of corporate travel clients and large database of corporate travel bookers in China.
Regarding eLong's continued loss and the suspension of parts of its businesses, Remy says that Expedia won't make any comment on eLong's operation and management, but eLong will remain an important partner for Expedia to expand its corporate travel business in China. Remy emphasizes that Expedia mainly targets big corporate clients, while eLong primarily focuses on leisure and individual travelers.