Online booking is now the default channel for Chinese travelers. Among the 504 experienced travelers surveyed by the broker, 45% booked their trips online. CLSA expects this ratio to increased to 60% in the next three years. Ctrip.com, Qunar (controlled by Baidu), and eLong are the top three online travel sites in China. But CLSA’s pick is Ctrip, because it is the most preferred platform for Chinese tourists going overseas. Here is analyst Elinor Leung drawing a parallel between Ctrip and Priceline: Half of our respondents prefer Ctrip for outbound travel booking, followed by Qunar (20%). We compare Ctrip with leading global online-travel agents to analyse the long-term margin potential. Expedia Inc (EXPE) and Priceline are the top two global online travel agents with similar gross-hotel bookings (US$30bn), but Priceline generates much stronger growth and wider margins than Expedia, benefiting from international expansion. Priceline only has an 11% market share in the USA, but it dominates the European market and benefits from the fast-growing market in Asia. The company generated 82% of its revenue from international markets. Get the full story at Barron's