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China Online Travel Traffic Report
Report | Published: August 2011
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  • Summary
  • Contents
  • Methodology

Publication Summary

China is a nation of paradoxes. The country has the second-largest travel industry in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, along with the world's largest Internet population. Yet its 7% online travel penetration rate is among the lowest in APAC, and travel lags other online categories significantly. Still, online travel bookings in China are expected to double between 2009 and 2012. PhoCusWright has partnered with global digital intelligence provider comScore to measure and analyze Web traffic in China within the travel category.

PhoCusWright's China Online Travel Traffic Report analyzes traffic volume, unique visitors, cross-visitation and source/loss patterns across key travel subcategories, including online travel agencies (OTAs), airlines, metasearch, traveler review websites and more. The report examines the balance between transactional versus non-transactional categories, as well as the influence of local versus global companies across individual travel segments. The traffic patterns highlighted in this report reveal sector-specific dynamics and track the influence of OTAs, metasearch and traveler review websites within China's online travel marketplace.

Key topics include:

  • Traffic to travel website categories with in-depth analysis of 1Q11, including:
    • Online travel agencies
    • Airlines
    • Ground transportation
    • Metasearch
    • Travel guides and traveler review sites
  • Travel website rankings within each travel category, including average monthly unique visitors
  • Comparison of traffic to supplier websites versus OTAs and non-transactional sites
  • In-depth analysis of key online players, including cross-visitation, source and loss traffic
By 2012, strong double-digit growth will bring online travel bookings in China to nearly US$8 billion. PhoCusWright's China Online Travel Traffic Report reveals and analyzes the fundamental categories, trends and sites behind this exceptional growth.

Online travel traffic reports are also available for these APAC regions:
Australia
India
Japan

Purchase the package of all four region reports (Australia, China, India, Japan).

Table of Contents

22 Pages

Overview

Key Findings

Methodology

Online Travel in China: Poised for Growth

Traffic Analysis: Travel Categories and Key Websites
- Online Travel Agencies
- Airlines
- Ground Transportation
- Metasearch
- Travel Guides
- Traveler Reviews


LIST OF TABLES
Total Internet and Travel Category Average Monthly Unique Visitors and Travel Category Share, 1Q11

Total Internet and Online Categories, Average Monthly Unique Visitors, 1Q11

Total Internet and Travel Category Monthly Unique Visitors, Share by Market, 1Q11

Total Internet and Travel Category Monthly Unique Visitors, Share by Age Group, 1Q11 (%)

Average Monthly Unique Visitors for Travel Categories and Category Share, 1Q11

Online Travel Agencies, Average Monthly Traffic, 1Q11

Comparative Travel Category Cross-Visitation for Ctrip and Qunar, March 2011

Source/Loss Traffic for Ctrip, Share by Category, March 2011

Airline Supplier Sites, Average Monthly Traffic, 1Q11

Source/Loss Traffic for Air China, Share by Category, March 2011

Ground Transport Supplier Sites, Average Monthly Traffic, 1Q11

Travel Metasearch Sites, Average Monthly Traffic, 1Q11

Source/Loss Traffic for Qunar, Share by Category, March 2011

Travel Guides Websites, Average Monthly Traffic, 1Q11

Traveler Review Sites, Average Monthly Traffic, 1Q11

Methodology

PhoCusWright partnered with comScore to study Web traffic to the following online travel categories for the 15-month period from 4Q09 through 4Q10. This report uses both standard comScore travel categories and custom categories created by PhoCusWright in order to study distinct segments of the online travel landscape. This report designates the custom PhoCusWright categories with "PCWI" as a prefix, for example PCWI hotels. When a category does not include this prefix, it is a standard comScore category.

Online Travel Categories

Travel: The master comScore travel category, a composite of all travel-related websites and properties, including both transactional sites for suppliers and online travel agencies, destination and media sites.

PCWI Airlines: A PhoCusWright custom category that includes websites of network and low-cost carriers (LCCs).
Examples: Air China, China Southern Airlines, Spring Airlines

PCWI Ground Transportation: A PhoCusWright custom category comprised of websites of car rental, rail and bus providers, including sites that provide fare, route and availability information for rail and bus inventory.
Examples: Piaojia, Huoche, eHi Auto Services

PCWI Online Travel Agencies (OTAs): A PhoCusWright custom category of websites that feature online booking for multiple suppliers for one or more supplier types.
Examples: Ctrip, eLong, Mangocity

PCWI Travel Metasearch: A PhoCusWright custom category including websites that search across multiple sites and direct visitors to these sites to book.
Examples: Qunar, Kuxun, Feeyo

PCWI Travel Guides: A PhoCusWright custom category including websites offering destination and travel-related content.
Examples: Sohu Travel, 163.com (NetEase.com, Inc.), Sina Travel, Yahoo! Travel, 51yala

PCWI Traveler Reviews: A PhoCusWright custom category of websites that feature traveler reviews, travel guides and trip planning tools.
Examples: TripAdvisor/DaoDao, Lvping, Yododo, 3608.com

(Note: China's hotel supplier category is relatively very small. Due to limited data on site traffic, the hotel subcategory is not included in this study.)

Other Categories

Social Networks: Websites of general social networks.
Examples: QQ/Tencent, Kaixin001, Renren

Media Portals: Media websites and portals.
Examples: Sohu, 163.com (NetEase.com, Inc.), Sina, Yahoo! (excluding search), Youku

Search: Websites of general search engines.
Examples: Baidu, Google, Sogou, Bing

ComScore conducted the analysis for this report using its proprietary methodology. Central to most comScore services is the comScore panel, the largest continuously measured consumer panel of its kind with approximately two million worldwide consumers under continuous measurement. The comScore panel methodology is designed to accurately measure people and their behavior in the digital environment. Complementing the panel is a unique census-level data collection method, which allows for the integration of consumers' Internet behavior with audience-measurement insights gained through the comScore panel. Several products within the comScore MMX 360 product suite and beyond are powered by this Unified Digital Measurement (UDM) methodology. Further information is available at: comscore.com/About_comScore/Methodology

Note that some comScore figures cited in this report may differ from internal company metrics that measure unique website visitors. Due to regulatory restrictions on Internet use in China, comScore consumer panels have limitations in projecting traffic and Internet usage in the country. Estimates are based on the universe measured in Asia, which currently is home and work computer usage for visitors age 15 and above.

Mobile platforms are excluded from this analysis.

ComScore uses the following methodology to capture and calculate metrics:

Cross-Visitation: Websites visited by the same unique visitor within a single calendar month, in any order.

Loss (Traffic): Websites visited immediately after visiting the studied website, with traffic volume measured in visits.

Monthly Unique Visitors: This value reflects visitors to a specified website during the specified calendar month. Each visitor is counted once regardless of how many times he or she visits within the month.

Source (Traffic): Websites visited immediately before visiting the studied website, with traffic volume measured in visits.