Trip.com Group, TripAdvisor to Enter Strategic Partnership

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Trip.com Group, TripAdvisor to Enter Strategic Partnership

Trip.com Group and TripAdvisor have entered into a strategic partnership to expand global cooperation, the companies announced on Wednesday.

The alliance includes a joint venture, global content agreements and a governance agreement.

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Trip.com Group subsidiary Ctrip Investment Holding Ltd. has entered into a joint venture with TripAdvisor subsidiary TripAdvisor Singapore Private Limited. Operating globally as TripAdvisor China, the new joint venture will see Trip.com Group contribute cash and market expertise while TripAdvisor will provide a long-term exclusive brand and content license, among other assets of its China business.

What’s more, global content agreements between the two groups will provide for distribution of selected TripAdvisor content on major Trip.com Group brands, including Trip.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner and Qunar.

As part of the governance agreement, Trip.com Group will have a nomination right for one TripAdvisor, Inc. Board seat, which it will seek to maintain by acquiring up to 6.95 million TripAdvisor shares or TripAdvisor shares valued at $317.6 million through open market transactions within a year following relevant regulatory approvals.

“We are pleased to announce this strategic partnership with Trip.com Group to expand TripAdvisor’s global reach and also help outbound Chinese travelers plan more meaningful trips,” said TripAdvisor president and CEO Stephen Kaufer in a statement accompanying this week’s announcement. “China is one of the largest and fastest growing travel markets in the world. Trip.com Group, with its established brands and travel market leadership, is the perfect partner to help us achieve our long-term goals in the region.”

Jane Sun, CEO of Trip.com Group, echoed those sentiments.

“TripAdvisor is a leading global travel platform and an ideal partner for Trip.com Group. As we expand our footprint overseas, it is important that we offer not only seamless access to global travel inventory, but also quality reviews, opinions and pictures generated by other fellow travelers,” Sun stated. “We are very excited about this strategic partnership, which will undoubtedly further enhance the travel experience for our customers worldwide.”