In 2016, the number of Chinese tourists traveling to counties and regions involved with China's "One Belt and One Road" (B&R) initiative through domestic online travel agency Ctrip surged 73 percent to more than 10 million, Ctrip said Wednesday.
"There is very strong demand from domestic travelers for markets in the 'Belt and Road,' with Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Germany, France and Russia among the most popular," Ctrip COO Sun Maohua told the Global Times on Wednesday.
In 2016, Ctrip sent about 2.5 million travelers to Thailand, 720,000 tourists to Singapore and 630,000 to Malaysia, up 91 percent, 47 percent and 129 percent respectively on an annual basis, according to company data.
Ctrip believes demand for trips to countries and regions involved with the "B&R initiative" will continue to grow over the next three to five years.
Sun said that Ctrip has been expanding into more markets involved with the "B&R initiative." For instance, Ctrip invested in India's largest online travel platform Makemytrip in January 2016 and acquired UK travel search website Skyscanner in November 2016.
"The 'Belt and Road' initiative also offers a great opportunity for Ctrip to expand into global markets," Sun said.