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Ctrip opens first call center outside China in Scotland

By WANG YING in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-04-11 19:35

China's biggest online travel agency, Ctrip, recently opened its first call center outside of China in Edinburgh after acquiring Scotland-based Skyscanner two years ago, said Ctrip CEO Sun Jie. The aim is to better serve Chinese tourists during their overseas trips.

Edinburgh was chosen as its first outbound call center because Skyscanner has its main team there and the city is a highly internationalized place.

"So they are in a same time zone, in case there are some services needed, so we can support our customers," Sun said.

The decision to open the center in Scotland means Ctrip can find many good call center staff with multi-language skills there, added Sun.

Ctrip acquired Edinburgh-based flight comparison site Skyscanner for 1.4 billion British pounds in 2016.

Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland, said Skyscanner will benefit enormously from the Ctrip investment as the company can operate independently and will perk up Scotland's confidence.

"It opened the doors to other collaboration," Sturgeon said.

Scotland is growing to be an important destination for Chinese tourists. There was 120 percent year-on-year growth of Chinese tourists to Scotland in 2017, and their average spending rose 49.9 percent per person. Ctrip users to Scotland spend 14,412 yuan on average, according to Ctrip data.

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