Group Drives Global Reconnection at ITB Berlin 2023

BERLIN, March 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Group shared its vision of ‘Reconnecting the World’ at ITB Berlin, the largest international show for the travel and tourism industry. Group is in attendance in force at the first in-person ITB Berlin after a two-year hiatus, with representatives from eight Group business lines, including accommodation, flights, attractions, marketing and partnerships.

Ray Chen, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Accommodation Business at Group, delivered a keynote speech to an in-person audience of over 400 people that was livestreamed to viewers around the world. 

After his keynote speech, Ray Chen said: “There is a lot of reason for optimism. Our latest financial results show we are making solid headway as we enter 2023 and look toward complete recovery.

“ Group has long been preparing for the reopening of China’s borders to enable the return of mass inbound and outbound travel, which will have a huge economic benefit for the global travel and tourism sector.

Ray Chen, SVP and CEO of Accommodation Business at Group, delivering a keynote speech on stage on Reconnecting the World at ITB

Released yesterday, Group Q4 financial results show a strong return to form. Overall hotel bookings on the Group’s global platforms outperformed the pre-pandemic level for four consecutive quarters. On a constant currency basis, overall air-ticketing revenue from Group global platforms in Q4 also fully recovered to the pre-pandemic level.  

Demand for China’s outbound travel surged in Q4. Searches for outbound flights departing from mainland China hit a three-year peak following the downgrade of COVID-19 to a Class B infectious disease and China’s reopening in December. Such encouraging data reveals increasing consumer confidence in January and February 2023.

Meanwhile, according to Group data, flight bookings for outbound travel from mainland China to Europe in February 2023, increased by 59%, compared to January 2023 and it rose by an impressive 405%, compared to 2022.

Ray Chen, commenting on the outlook, said: “As the industry adapts to the maturation of post-pandemic trends and capacity lags, we must continue to work with partners to enable the release of pent-up demand.

“We are excited to be back in Berlin for ITB to reconnect with partners and industry fellows to further share ideas and trends that continue to shape travel.”

As part of the strategy to support the recovery of travel and tourism, Group launched a series of livestream activities promoting regional destinations to Chinese travelers. The first session that focused on Thailand, and was joint hosted by the Director of the Thailand Tourism Authority, generated GMV of US$5.7 million and sold over 20,000 room nights through a total of over 10,000 bookings. Group’s strong attendance at this year’s ITB Berlin follows ITB Asia held in October last year where Group also had a significant presence and Boon Sian Chai, Managing Director and Vice President (International Markets) at Group, delivered a keynote.

About Group Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising of, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. Across its platforms, Group helps travellers around the world make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services and enables partners to connect their offerings with users through the aggregation of comprehensive travel-related content and resources, and an advanced transaction platform consisting of apps, websites and 24/7 customer service centres. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003 and HKEX in 2021, Group has become one of the best-known travel groups in the world, with the mission “to pursue the perfect trip for a better world”. Find out more about Group here: