We’ve long been hearing about the importance of Chinese travelers, as China consistently ranks as the No. 1 market for outbound tourism.

According to the China National Tourism Administration, Chinese tourists made 62 million outbound trips in the first half of 2017, an increase of 5 percent over the same period last year and more than any other country in the world. That number is expected to increase again by 4 percent when final 2017 numbers are tallied.

Perhaps more noteworthy, however, is the fact Chinese tourism officials say only 10 percent of Chinese even have passports, which underscores the phenomenal impact Chinese tourists will continue to have on the global tourism industry.

Given the language and cultural barriers, one of the top priorities for Western hotel companies today is finding effective ways to tap into this market. After all, more and more Chinese tourists are traveling beyond Asia to the United States and Europe.

Hotels.com’s Chinese International Travel Monitor projects the U.S. will become an increasingly popular destination for Chinese travelers, ranking only behind France among international destinations this year. So getting Western brands front and center is key.

That’s why we are so excited to announce our new partnership with CHINAonline, which is one of China’s original online travel distribution platforms and has direct connections to more than 60 of the country’s leading travel websites, wholesalers and tour operators.

This partnership makes it easier for hotel companies to put their inventory and brands before the top travel sellers in China. And it’s just the beginning of what we hope will be a more expanded alliance with CHINAonline in the future.

With the DHISCO link, CHINAonline can now offer travel sellers and consumers access to natural language content and real-time rate and availability information from DHISCO’s more than 514,000 hotel partners around the world.

As CHINAonline Managing Director Anson Lau says, this partnership literally opens the world to Chinese distributors and the huge market they serve.

So exactly how big is that market? Phocuswright’s Maggie Rauch told the Onyx CenterSource FutureSource 2017 conference that she expects the total Chinese travel market to reach $165 billion this year, representing 42 percent of the Asia-Pacific region. So, obviously, we are thrilled to offer our partners a new way to tap into this key and growing market.

The partnership between DHISCO and CHINAonline makes perfect sense. DHISCO brings unmatched global hotel distribution depth and breadth while CHINAonline offers unsurpassed distribution reach in the rapidly growing Chinese market.

– CEO Toni Portmann