When you think of the leading players in online travel globally, Priceline and Expedia might be near the top of your list. But, would you immediately place Ctrip, the Shanghai-based travel agency, in the upper echelons, as well?
The answer should be "yes," given the recent market-cap gains made by China's dominant online travel company.
Fueled by last week's China Lodging Group IPO and Ctrip's investment in the hotel company, Ctrip's stock price has been rising and its market cap April 1 stood at $5.34 billion.
That's not chump change, nor is it an April Fool's joke.
Buffed up by the China Lodging Group IPO, recent acquistions and the overall growth of online travel in China, Ctrip's market cap puts it in the Expedia conversation.
Expedia's market cap on April 1 was $7.23 billion.
Of course, Priceline's is out of this world at $11.62 billion, thanks in part to that little acquisition a few years back of Booking.com.
Forbes points out that Ctrip, based in Shanghai, may further benefit this year from the 70 million visitors expected to show up for Shanghai Expo in Ctrip's backyard.
So who are the global leaders in online travel?
Well, you just need to do the math.