Chinese online travel to be worth $48bn by 2016, Indian growth set to explode

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A new report from eMarketer reckons that China’s well-established online travel sector will hit US$32.51-billion in sales for the year 2012 — but by 2016 it’s projected to grow to US$48-billion.

While China currently accounts for more than half of travel ecommerce revenue among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) nations, as shown in the graph below, that proportion will slip slightly in the near future as India emerges with stronger growth.

India’s somewhat delayed ecommerce emergence will see its online travel market grow in sales from US$11.5-billion this year to an estimated $30.61 billion in 2016. That means the sector in India will nearly triple in size in the coming years, which represents the highest CAGR (Compound Average Growth Rate) among the BRIC countries. South Korea is the only interloper in the group with its stellar growth in the market:

eMarketer points out a great deal of differences among the BRIC nations in how they’ve taken to travel ecommerce: Brazil’s market is limited in social usage and dominated by domestic travel; Russia’s lack of enthusiasm for this sector is in contrast to its high GDP; India sees three-quarters of ecommerce taken up by travel bookings; and China is, well, massive.

India’s biggest online travel service is Makemytrip, while China’s Ctrip and eLong carve up a large swathe of that market.

This article by Steven Millward originally appeared on Tech in Asia and is republished with permission.

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