A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email the other day about the Chinese online travel agency called Ctrip.
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You can access Ctrip here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
Just seeing some incredibly cheap rates for Macau hotels on TripAdvisor using a website called Ctrip. Very low rates. Do you know much about Ctrip.
Ctrip is a huge Chinese travel agency based in Shanghai. It is basically the main OTA for the country and they now have presence in some other markets as well such as Hong Kong. Think of it as the Expedia for the Greater China (and beyond).
Chinese have become very important segment of tourists all over the Asia and Europe too (one could say anywhere!) and thus they (Ctrip) can negotiate good rates with hotels that cater to this market.
Also, Macau has been hit hard with gambling related inflows from China (government tries to reduce this) and perhaps there is excess capacity that they try to offload?
You have to bear in mind that some of the hotels that you book via Ctrip may not offer instant confirmation (is this still the case?) and you may have to wait few minutes for your booking to be cleared.
I have only booked intra-China flights with Ctrip and their competitor called eLong. The only negative thing is that they try to force Dynamic Currency Conversion from RMB to the currency of your card to used to pay and this rate is always off by few percentage points. Not sure if there is now way to avoid this. There wasn’t when I made a purchase last time around.
So, Ctrip is very legit travel company and you can certainly book hotels through them. Just pay attention if you need to print out a voucher to present at the hotel at the time of checking in or whether they transfer this information directly to the property.
There can be even lower prices on the Chinese edition of Ctrip and apparently they sell wider variety of hotels there that perhaps are not suitable for Western travelers. I have not personally experience this but something that I have heard