When is the last time you book a flight ticket without checking any online travelling site? Well, I guess it has been ages for most of you, and so it is for most Chinese travellers. Zhang Haijun, the CEO of travelling meta-search Kuxun predicted that in two or three years, online booked air tickets would finally surpass ticket orders offline.

Accordingly, the percentage of flight tickets booked online in China is about 40% of the total. A latest report by Jinlu Consulting, a local travelling industry think tank, said that by 2015, the share of offline ticket distributors will have fallen from 81%(2012) to 71%. The drop could be explained by the low-cost direct selling over e-commerce platforms, and the rising marketing costs of distribution selling.

For customers, a lower price is always the best choice. Zhang Haijun thought that the online booking system has changed the past mystery of the non-transparent pricing scheme, which attracts most customers. Nevertheless, the current online travel market is still immature with unexpected frauds from time to time, and Zhang reminded that we should never be too careful, “There are no pennies from heaven. A discount of 20% to 30% is possible, but some offer from 50% to 60% could very likely be a fraud and customers should be aware of.”

image credit: s8s8.com

动点科技驻湾区记者. Charlie is an entrepreneur based in San Francisco and Hong Kong who calls herself the undefeated caffeine champion. You can reach her at charlie.sheng (at) technode.com

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