Chinese online travel service provider Ctrip.com has announced plans to compensate consumers for online booking price differences.

Ctrip.com stated that from March 10, all the room rates it provides on its website for hotels in China will be the lowest anywhere online. If any consumers find room rates lower than those on its website, it will pay them three times of the value of the price difference in compensation. Certain requirements and exceptions do apply, and those are listed on its website.

This is the first time that a travel service provider in China has ever promised to compensate consumers for price differences, and it could herald a new round of price wars among eLong.com, Ctrip.com, and other Internet travel websites.

China's online travel business has been growing rapidly in recent years. In 2009, the total number of online travel service users in China reached 30.24 million, increasing by 77.9%. Meanwhile, the number of online travel service providers was also on the increase, which makes the market competition even fiercer.

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