TWENTY two years after its founding, and 14 months after its business was crushed by the pandemic, Group officially listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today (9961.HK), becoming the first global travel group to be dual listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as well as the NASDAQ stock exchange in the US (TCOM).

It says it plans to use the net proceeds from this listing
to fund the expansion of its one-stop travel offerings
and improve user experience, invest in technology to bolster its leading market
position in products
and services and improve its operating efficiency, and for general
corporate purposes and working
capital needs.

James Liang: A 22-year journey

In the livestreamed ceremony in Shanghai to mark the occasion, James Liang, co-founder and chairman of the board, said, “22 year ago, we began in a 40m2 office with only a handful of employees. Today, we have tens of thousands of employees worldwide. It is my honour to have our representative users strike the gong and open trading on this momentous occasion. I want to thank every single customer, partner, sponsor and traveller who has supported us throughout our 22 year journey.”

In the 22 years from 1999 to 2021, Group has grown from 784 registered users on a single platform at its inception to owning and operating a range of leading travel services platforms with hundreds of millions of users worldwide.

Speaking at the listing celebrations, Jane Sun, chief executive officer of Group, said, “By being dual-listed in the US and Hong Kong, we are able to have a truly global offering that better reflects our international presence and outlook … we look forward to ushering in the global travel revival and achieving much more together.”

From the onset of the global pandemic Group has played an active role in supporting travellers and partners around the world. In June 2020, the travel group launched its Travel On initiative to provide vital support to partners and rollout a series of tailored travel products and services to enable and inspire travel. Group’s efforts to kick-start the safe return of global travel include introducing the Safe Travels protocol with the World Travel & Tourism Council, the launch of the company’s COVID-19 International Traveller’s Guide, and its recent announcement on joining forces with the Common Project Foundation and World Economic Forum to co-develop initiatives that enable safer cross-border travel. Group recently unveiled its plans to boost its content ecosystem and partner marketing capabilities with the launch of its new travel marketing strategy designed to allow suppliers to expand and enhance their marketing activities on Group platforms.

This latest move coincides with the travel group’s commitment to building a one-stop travel platform, integrating differentiated travel content, driving huge traffic volume and providing comprehensive travel products to meet the evolving needs of the post-pandemic traveller and further support partners.