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It’s rumored that Qunar is looking at an IPO in the coming months, signifying both the strength of the business model for travel metasearch companies and the rise in outbound tourism in China, which has fueled the website’s growth.
According to the latest October traffic data published by iResearch, a reputable Chinese market research firm, Chinese consumers opted overwhelmingly to use Qunar for their travel bookings in October, a peak leisure travel season in China with a 7-day Golden Week. Qunar prevailed in the number of consumers that visited its website with over 28 million monthly unique visitors, almost twice the traffic size of its closest rival Ctrip. Earlier this year, it was reported by Chinese media that Qunar sold up to 110,000 flight tickets during 2012 Chinese New Year, arguably the largest online tickets sale at that time.
China has the fastest growing travel market in Asia, and is ranked No. 2 globally in terms of travel industry’s total contribution to GDP and employment, right after the United States, according to The World Travel and Tourism Council. It is highly anticipated that the upcoming holiday season will drive another record high in Chinese travel sales. “With more consumers adapted to online travel bookings, Qunar is likely to help boost more holiday travel sales from now leading up to next year’s Lunar New Year in February,” commented Qunar’s company spokesperson.
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