The Chinese owner of Edinburgh-based travel search site Skyscanner plans to open a call centre in the city, creating up to 200 jobs over the next few years.
Ctrip is the second largest online travel agent in the world and the largest in China. Founded in 1999 by James Liang, Neil Shen, Min Fan and Ji Qi, it is headquartered in Shanghai and employs over 30,000 people across China. It is listed on NASDAQ with a market cap of roughly $20 billion.
Ctrip provides a huge array of services to the traveller, from booking flights, hotel rooms, train and bus tickets to holiday packages and guided tours, insurance and attraction tickets. It is majority mobile and provides 24-hour customer service – in fact, Ctrip’s customer service is recognised as the best in China.
Coley Dale, Director, Ctrip:
It’s clear to us that there’s considerable talent in Scotland and we do aim to recruit at pace here. So that reassurance that there’s a great talent pool in the city and surrounding areas was key.
"We hope to hire up to 200 people in the next few years and over 120 in the next 12 months alone. We’ll be recruiting for an Office Manager, IT Manager, Trainers and Customer Service Agents. We already have our first Edinburgh-based employee on board, an HR Manager," states Coley Dale, Director of Ctrip.
Ctrip’s leadership team visited Edinburgh several times since the acquisition of Skyscanner at the end of last year.
"It’s clear to us that there’s considerable talent in Scotland and we do aim to recruit at pace here. So that reassurance that there’s a great talent pool in the city and surrounding areas was key," adds Dale
The office will be located very centrally in Edinburgh and it is scheduled to open in the first few months of 2018.
While Chinese travellers continue to be Ctrip’s focus, the Ctrip call centre in Edinburgh is reflective of Ctrip’s investment in services across the world.
The Edinburgh call centre aims to provide a high-level customer service experience across time zones and languages, and the firm will be investing in intensive training for all their staff based in the city.
"For some, this will include trips to our headquarters in China to learn from peers. We’re very excited to be building roots in the city," says Dale.