Chinese online travel giant Ctrip reportedly invested more than $100 million in overseas tourism service ToursForFun (report in Chinese). According to official website of ToursForFun, the company will become part of Ctrip’s North American branch, which was set up in last November.
Founded in 2006, ToursForFun is a thriving online travel supplier dedicated to providing online purchasing experience for all travel needs. It is focused on overseas tours and vacation packages in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, and South & Central America.
Ctrip launched acquisition spree last year, especially after the company raised 800 million yuan ($132.18 million) last November by issuing convertible bond. Here is a list of Ctrip’s investment and acquisition cases in 2013:
- April: Invested in online travel searching engine Kuxun (amount not disclosed);
- May: Invested in hotel app Economy Hotel Manager (amount not disclosed);
- October: Invested undisclosed amount of capital in Chanyouji, a well-designed trip story sharing platform that supports videos and has features such as check-ins and bookkeeping;
- December: Led a $60 million round in car rental service Yongche together with DCM;
- December: Led a $100 million funding round in Chinese car rental company eHi AutoServices for a 20% stake;
- December: Invested in ToursForFun.
The number of China’s outbound travelers is expected to surge 13% year-on-year to 110 million in 2014, according to data released by 2014 National Conference of Tourism Industry. The overseas travelling revenue is expected to climb 3% year-on-year to $49.2 billion (source in Chinese).
In addition to acquiring companies that have established presence in foreign markets like ToursForFun, Ctrip’s newly launched online ticket platform included tourist attractions in over 30 countries or regions outside China. Moreover, the company also launched overseas private tour platform with international car rental companies in a bid to tap overseas tourism market.