Sky is the limit for company's travel business

Updated: 2014-11-24 11:07

By Wang Wen(China Daily)

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Sky is the limit for company's travel business

The Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is an exotic locale in Africa that Chinese tourists are eager to visit. [Photo / Provided to China Daily]

Sino Travel reaps big rewards as trade relations between China and Africa continue to expand

As economic and other relations between China and Africa expand, travel agencies are reaping the benefits of increased travel.

One of them is Sino Travel International Air Service Co Ltd, which aims eventually to provide services covering the whole industrial chain in tourism, says Zhan Chengbing, its chairman.

The company, established in 2008, offers tailor-made travel services to Chinese institutions and companies doing business with Africa as well as Africans traveling to China. Its services include selling air tickets, booking hotels and arranging for travelers to be met when they arrive on the continent.

China-Africa travel accounts for about 60 percent of the company's business, and it serves more than 20 African countries and 30 main cities there, Zhan says.

The company handles 30,000 trips to and from China and Africa every year, he says.

He became interested in the African market about eight years ago when there was a sharp upturn in business. Apart from a lull in trade as a result of political and military upheavals in Africa in 2011, business has kept on climbing, he says.

That underlines the fact that Chinese companies thinking about going to Africa need to choose a country and region that is politically stable, he says.

The Ministry of Commerce says trade between China and Africa reached more than $10 billion in 2000, and between then and 2008 the figure grew by more than 33.5 percent a year.

In 2006, 800 Chinese businesses had operations in Africa, and by the end of last year that figure had more than tripled.

The rising number of Chinese companies going to Africa means more customers for Zhan, and he says Sino Travel has 80 regular customers.

Most are still State-owned companies in construction, energy and other industries, and the number of privately owned companies is growing, he says, because the latter are finally beginning to reap benefits in the continent after years of doing the groundwork to set up their operations.

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