Ctrip.com International Ltd. (NASDAQ:CTRP) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Nov 07, 2018 • 08:00 am ET
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Third Quarter 2018 Ctrip.com International Limited Earnings Conference Call. My name is Edward, and I will be the moderator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.
Now I will hand the call to Chief Communications Officer, Mr. Victor Tseng. Please begin. Thank you.
Thank you. Good morning, and welcome to Ctrip's third quarter 2018 earnings conference call. Joining me today on the call are Mr. James Liang, Executive Chairman of the Board; Ms. Jane Sun, CEO, and Ms. Cindy Wang, CFO.
(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statement) James, Jane and Cindy will share our strategy and business updates, operating highlights and financial performance for the third quarter of 2018 as well as the outlook for the fourth quarter of 2018. After their prepared remarks, we will have a Q&A session.
With that, I will turn the call over to James. James, please.
James Jianzhang Liang
Thank you, Victor, and thanks to everyone for joining us on the call today. Ctrip continued making solid progress on every front of our business in the third quarter of 2018. Despite the softer growth of the overall market during the quarter, we increased the multiple by which we are outpacing the industry's average growth. We remain confident and enthusiastic about the future long-term opportunity represented by both China and the global travel industry and are working hard to further extend our market position.
To start, I would like to share some of our thoughts on China's macro economy. We believe China will continue to be one of the fastest-growing economies in the world going into the next decade, driven by technology advances, continued urbanization and the evolution to a consumption and service-led growth model. This will sustain the growth of China's middle class over the long term.
Travel industry will naturally benefit from China's sustained economic growth. There are a couple of drivers that I'm particularly excited about going forward for China's travel industry. One, China has the largest network of high-speed rail spanning over 25,000 kilometers, twice that of the European system. By 2020, the high-speed rail will connect more than 80% of Chinese cities with a population of over 1 million. This is helping make domestic travel very accessible and economical. In fact, we recently launched the first high-speed rail tour channel on the Ctrip app. Within the first month, daily orders reached its highest, 100,000.
Two, China's commitments to its open economy strategy will continue to drive the growth of international travel. China's outbound travel base is already the world's largest, spanning over $200 billion overseas last year but currently accounts for less than 10% of total Chinese population. In past years, China's new passport issuance maintained annual growth of approximately 20%. Moreover, the Chinese passports can now allow Chinese to travel to 74 countries and territories around the world with no visa or visa-on-arrival requirements.
In spite of