When Alibaba Group Holding Limited ( BABA ) spun off its travel sites into a separate business called Alitrip in October, the growing importance of China's online travel booking market was highlighted. Alitrip combined national and international bookings for airplanes, hotels, cruises, package tours, and more from across Alibaba's key Chinese e-commerce marketplaces -Taobao, Tmall, and the Juhuasuan daily deals site. It's not very difficult to see why the Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, wanted to rebrand and refocus on its travel business. According to online travel tracker PhoCusWright, gross bookings in China's online travel market reached $18.2 billion in 2013, making China second in the Asia-Pacific region only to Japan. He expects China to beat Japan by 2016. Get the full story at Nasdaq