Ctrip, the largest online travel agency in China, has begun cooperation with its old rival Qunar which is the Chinese leading travel search engine on vacation packages recently after a long time price war and war of words. Besides, it is said Ctrip and Qunar will further cooperate on air tickets and hotel booking.
The cooperation surprised every one because Qunar launched its Total Solution, an aggregation platform where online travel orders can be directly processed, and wanted to become an OTA which forced other online travel agencies such as Elong and 17u leaving Qunar.
Now, Elong, 17u have appeared in Qunar search results again. Ctrip has been listed in Qunar’s supplier and launched more than 20 vacation itineraries.
Ctrip shouldn’t have conflicts with Qunar, but Qunar wants to directly provide a reservation service and its TTS intercepts user data. However, Ctrip cooperated with Qunar as Taobao joined online travel market. In 2012, Ctrip led the market in air tickets and hotel booking, Taobao ranked the third in air tickets market and the fourth in hotel booking and topped in vacation reservation with 46.2%, which is a bigger threat to Ctrip than Qunar.
The OTA+vertical search business model is very appealing. Qunar could bring large traffic to Ctrip, and Qunar also needs capable suppliers like Ctrip. The cooperation doesn’t involve Qunar’s TTS, once we click on Qunar search results, it leads to Ctrip to finish the transaction.