Trip.com Group’s CEO, Jan Sun, believes that content providers like Douyin (the TikTok for China) will struggle to replicate the online travel agency (OTA) experience, emphasizing the differences in their core competencies.
During the company’s second-quarter earnings call, Jan Sun highlighted the distinctions, stating, “They [content providers] primarily focus on providing inspirations, whereas OTAs prioritize transactions and service fulfillment.” She emphasized Trip.com’s strengths in robust supplier chain management and high-quality customer service, enabling them to offer competitive products, a seamless booking experience, personalized services, and reliable travel services. These factors are crucial to the success of travel-related services, making it challenging for content platforms to replicate.
While content providers like Douyin have started experimenting with hotel searches, bridging the gap between content and transactions, Trip.com remains confident in its ability to provide a unique and comprehensive OTA experience. Jan Sun also mentioned that Trip.com would continue to invest in its own content strategy to assist users in finding inspiration and making informed travel decisions.
Strong Second Quarter for Trip.com:
Despite challenges such as air capacity constraints, Trip.com reported robust financial results for the second quarter of 2023. The company’s net revenue reached $1.6 billion, marking an impressive 180% year-over-year increase and a 22% increase from the first quarter of 2023.
During the earnings call, Jan Sun also provided insights into international flight capacity, noting that it had recovered to approximately 38% of pre-pandemic levels. The company expects further improvements, with international flight capacity projected to reach up to 65% of 2019 levels in the second half of the year. This positive outlook suggests a gradual recovery in global travel demand.