Pivotal moments in 2014: rapid change in online travel in ChinaNews / Distribution | TechnologyBy Claude Bénard | December 23, 2014Share This article was originally published on Five years ago I wrote in Tnooz (for a crystal ball round-up) about trends in online travel in China.So, let's jump to some pivotal moments in these markets. That's markets with an "s" because they are many segments, different tourists behavior and rapid change in the Chinese travel industry.Here's a snapshot of some of the things that happened in 2014: Priceline invests $500 million in CTrip, the leading OTA in China.Airbnb forges partnership with Qyer, one of the Chinese travel social media networks.Alibaba lists on the NASDAQ and launches its travel portal Alitrip.com.112 million border crossing Chinese tourists, and a constantly growing market.More and more FIT - a trend for the past five years and still growing fast in line with the Chinese digital travel industry.Mobile mobile mobile - with more 560 mobile users, it's the key focus for all digital strategies.Cruise market also growing with US and China cruise partnerships in the pipeline.Battle for hotels group market share, two examples are France-based leading hotel groups: Accor - China’s Jin Jiang outbids Accor for French budget hotel chain and Louvre Hotels Group - Shanghai Jin Jiang to Buy Louvre Hotels Group.What else?Huawei, the Chinese giant telecom technologies which provides wifi technologies to western telecommunications companies. For example, here is France it provides services Bouygues Telecom. And, this technology is used by tourist boards for their customers (example in the city of Lyon). Expect more to come in this area!Up to June 20, 2014, 39 investments took place in China's online travel industry and for traditional travel agencies the consequences are summed up here: ""The decline in business for traditional travel agencies and the rapid growth of the online tourism market highlights that the market share of traditional travel agencies is shrinking, while transactions for emerging online travel service providers are thriving." (Source : China Tourism Academy: China Travel Agency Industry Development Report 2014)Share this quote Ouch - there are in fact more Chinese pivotal moments in 2014, but this gives you an idea of the trends and the acceleration of the markets.What about some pivotal moments for 2015?Well, first keep an eye on the same players and watch them grow and battle for market share.Look out for more battles around Chinese mobile payment technologies and travel services for mobile users.See how leading destinations (USA, Canada, Australia, some in Europe too) fight hard to catch a piece of the cake and create some interesting travel campaigns for the Chinese outbound market.Who will win?I have no crystal ball ;-) but can reveal the secret is in two words: speed wins!NB: Great Wall of China image via Shutterstock.