Priceline Group is one of the world's biggest online travel companies

Online outbound travel is a fierce battlefield with China’s travel agents competing for a share of the market after a surge in outbound tourism, according to a recent report.

Priceline Group is one of the world's biggest online travel companiesOutbound travel is the single largest segment in China’s 33.26 billion yuan (5.44 billion U.S. dollars) online travel market, accounting for 45.1 percent of all transactions, according to research firm Analysys.

The number of outbound tourists has grown seven times since 2001 to surpass 100 million last year, fueling a rise in the number of travel agencies. Travel agents for the outbound segment accounted for 10 percent of all travel agencies in China as of the end of last year.

Competition is fierce, with companies like Ctrip and Tuniu locked in a race to woo Chinese tourists with competitively priced travel packages.

With the growing penetration of the Internet, more companies are moving online and this, combined with more room for outbound travel growth, will continue to fuel a boom in China’s online outbound travel services, the report said. Enditem

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