Categories Consumer, Earnings Call Transcripts

Trip.com Group Ltd (TCOM) Q4 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

TCOM Earnings Call - Final Transcript

Trip.com Group Ltd (NASDAQ: TCOM) Q4 2021 earnings call dated Mar. 23, 2022

Corporate Participants:

Michelle Qi — Investor Relations Director

James Jianzhang Liang — Co-founder, Executive Chairman of the Board

Jane-Jie-Sun — Chief Executive Officer, Director

Cindy Xiaofan Wang — Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President

Analysts:

Alex Yao — JPMorgan — Analyst

Alex Poon — Morgan Stanley — Analyst

Ronald Keung — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Thomas Chong — Jefferies LLC — Analyst

James Lee — Mizuho Securities — Analyst

Brian Gong — Citi — Analyst

Tian Hou — T.H. Capital — Analyst

Presentation:

Operator

Thank you all for standing by and welcome to the Trip.com Group 2021 Q4 Earnings Conference Call. All participants are in a listen-only mode. There’ll be a presentation followed by a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to hand the conference over to Ms. Michelle Qi, IR Director. Please go ahead.

Michelle Qi — Investor Relations Director

Thank you. Good morning and welcome to Trip.com Group’s fourth quarter and full year of 2021 earnings conference call. Joining me today on the call are Mr. James Liang, Executive Chairman of the Board, Ms. Jane Sun, Chief Executive Officer and Ms. Cindy Wang, Chief Financial Officer.

During this call, we will discuss our future outlook and performance which are forward-looking statements made under the Safe Harbor Provision of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. As such, our results may be materially different from the views expressed today. A number of potential risks and uncertainties are outlined in Trip.com Group’s public filings with the Security and Exchange Commission. Trip.com Group does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements except as required under applicable law.

James, Jane and Cindy will share our strategy and business updates, operating highlights and financial performance for the fourth quarter of 2021, as well as outlook for the first quarter of 2022. After the prepared remarks, we will have a Q&A session.

With that, I will turn the call over to James. James, please.

James Jianzhang Liang — Co-founder, Executive Chairman of the Board

Thank you, Michelle. Thank you everyone for joining us on the call today. Looking back, 2021 was a year full of change, challenges and opportunities. The resurgence of cases, the emergence of new virus variants and intermittent lockdowns, still the bumpy path for global travel industry’s recovery. It also paved the way for sustainable development. Despite twists and turns of the pandemic, we have taken the opportunity to further diversify our products, enhance our service quality and upgrade our technology.

In the China domestic markets, we continue to maintain our competitive edge in the long distance travel market while also building new strengths in short-haul travel. Our strong performance reflected how much that our core competencies have been further bolstered and that we are able to unleash newer growth potential as long-haul travel recovers. Meanwhile, we are encouraged to see that both user stickiness and user engagement on our content channel further improved.

In Q4, the number of daily interactive users of content channel has more than doubled year-over-year. Increased user interactions reinstates spots of flywheel effect, which will continue to drive up our content conversion rates. In February, the conversion rate has doubled when compared to the same period 2021. With our quality user base and extensive marketing resource the content platform will provide long lasting value for our business partners. While the ground developments remains uncertain, many countries already started to roll back travel restrictions. Our overseas brands continue to make progress on the path to recovery and had further improvements in recent months.

In the first two months of 2022, air reservations in our overseas brands increased by over 200% year-over-year and the booking in Europe has achieved faster growth. In Asia markets, we are encouraged to see many countries announced plans to relax travel policies. To exploit such opportunity, we have further enhanced our products competitiveness, especially for staycation and weekend tours. Through effective and localized campaign that kept our brand top of the mind, we continue to take shares in Asia markets.

Finally, I would like to share our progress in ESG development. First, we made sustained efforts to promote rural revitalization initiatives with eight Trip.com Group country retreats already opened by the end of 2021. Second, we strive to build an inclusive workplace. The Group has launched a hybrid working model starting March, giving qualified employees an option to work remotely on certain days in a week. We believe the promotion of the hybrid working is a multi-win for the company, employees and society. It helps improve the employee satisfaction without compromising efficiency. It also helps the environmental protection, contribution to families, supports female career development and creates positive impact on society and the economy. Third, we also newly established our ESG committee to oversee and integrate sustainability practices into daily business operation. The relative recovery will not always be easy, yet we are prepared to embrace another challenging and exciting year.

Over the past two years although the world have taken some detours on its path to recovery, the up and downs eventually led us to building stronger resilience. Guided by our local focus global vision strategy, we look forward to helping people from every corner of the world to take down their perfect trips very soon.

With that, I will turn the call over to Jane for operational highlights.

Jane-Jie-Sun — Chief Executive Officer, Director

Thank you, James. Good morning, everyone. Let me start with an overview of the performance, I would like to start with a brief overview of Q4 and the full year of 2021. Though the industry experienced the COVID resurgence and weaker seasonality in Q4, Trip.com Group delivered solid performance.

In the fourth quarter, our total net revenue remained largely stable year-over-year. The China domestic market were still under a lot of pressure due to new wave of infections and the rapid development of Omicron cases. Nevertheless, we’re able to maintain our competitive edge by outpacing the industry performance across business lines. In Q4, domestic hotel bookings on Ctrip platform was higher than the pre-COVID 2019 level, exceeding the industry growth by 20% to 25%. Our domestic air bookings also recovered much faster than the market performance. For the full year of 2021, our total net revenue increased by 9% year-over-year, mainly driven by the recovery of our domestic business. Our core OTA brand achieved a GMV of over RMB500 million or $78 million, up close to 30% year-over-year.

Thanks to our effective cost control and efficiency improvements, we achieved a positive adjusted EBITDA margin of 6% for the full year of 2021. 2021 was an accelerating year for us. In the domestic market, we developed a new strength in short-haul travel and speeded up the construction of content platform, putting customers at the center of our business. We also upgraded our loyalty program with extended reward offerings and to benefit more loyal customers. Meanwhile, our international brands continue to gain market share in the overseas markets with higher efficiency.

Here I would like to highlight our achievements in four areas. First, short-haul travel. Three years into pandemic, short-haul travel remains popular and continued to be a key contributor to our domestic recovery during the past year. In Q4, our intra-provincial hotel bookings grew over 30% compared to pre-COVID 2019 level with local hotel bookings increased by over 50%. Such strong performance for short-haul travel extended into the early Chinese New Year holiday with local hotel reservations increasing by more than 20% year-over-year. We have further augmented our product offerings to include boutique accommodation, clamping, hiking and other high-quality and innovative travel experiences to meet customers’ evolving needs. Meanwhile, we are also joined by more business partners to provide value-added services.

Our [Technical Issues] now cover more than 7,000 high-end hotels and it’s contributing over 40% of reservation to these participating parlors. The shortened travel radius gives rise to the demand for more vacations and weekend tours, making more short distance travelers and take a regular and consistent weekend getaway has become travelers’ new habit. Even when long-haul travel see strong comeback in most, when travel curbs were more relaxed, demand for short travel remained high. We expect to see high recovery potential in both long-haul and the short-haul travels and effective pandemic control. Trip.com Group has been well prepared and is well positioned to capture these opportunity to fuel further growth.

Second, content platform. During the past few quarters, we have been accelerating our efforts to construct the content platform by following our three-step strategy. First, we further enriched the amount of the content contributed by both professional creators and users and number of KOLs increased by over 25% sequentially in the fourth quarter. Regular users were also encouraged to start sharing content on our platform. Daily average user generated content from these new creators grew by over 80% sequentially. Second, we are delighted to see high user engagement with number of average daily interactive users on our content channels more than doubled year-over-year. In the fourth quarter, average viewing duration has also been significantly increased.

Third, our content platform is highly synergetic with our core business, supported by our strong supply chain. We were pleased to see the content conversion rate has improved steadily and has doubled its previous-year level in February. The content platform also serves as a one-stop marketing hub where business partners can showcase their products and engage with users through direct interaction. So far more than 3,000 partners have hosted over 10,000 live streams on Ctrip platform. All these efforts and achievements made us very effective and therefore attracted marketing hub for advertising partners. In Q4, our like domestic advertising revenue increased over 20% compared to pre-COVID 2019 level.

Third, user benefits, in addition to product innovation and content development, we are also dedicated to strengthening our value proposition to users especially to our global loyal customers. We upgraded our Ctrip loyalty program last year, aiming to enrich benefit offerings and extend our users coverage. Users are able to redeem their membership points for not only travel related products and also rewards across a variety of options. Meanwhile, we also deepened our partnership with business partners, including hotels, airlines, airports through a connected membership programs, which allows members to enjoy privileges from both side. We are glad to see the number of total Ctrip loyalty members increase by over 20% year-over-year in 2021 with high level members growing at double digits. Moreover, Ctrip members can also enjoy traditional benefit from accommodation reservation and our TripPLUS program in which about 230,000 hotels have signed up to offer extra discounts and value-added services.

Fourth, international business. Over the previous quarters, our international brands have been accelerating the integration of technology and supply chain. Strong synergy allows us to further improve brand awareness in overseas market. In Europe markets, air ticket bookings have enjoyed sequential improvements in the fourth quarter despite the impact from Omicron development. The recovery has further speeded up after many European countries decided to relax travel restrictions. Air ticket bookings on our overseas brands increased over 200% year-over-year in the first two months of 2022 and grew faster in the European markets. In Asia markets, we’re working closely with local suppliers to address the increasing customer need for staycation. In 2021, domestic hotel bookings in overseas market grew over 30% compared to pre-COVID 2019 level and achieved around three-digit growth in Hong Kong, Singapore and the Korean markets.

Meanwhile, our activity offerings in overseas markets are seeing continuous improvement in 2021 with total amount increased by 3 times year-over-year and covering about 2,000 destinations. The extensive product offerings inspire more travelers to explore unique local experiences. In 2021, reservations for global and destination activities on our platform grew by 30% when compared to the pre-COVID 2019 level. We have also been continuously upgrading our back-end assistance and technology capabilities to drive-up efficiency across business lines in international markets and to overcome the challenges for the surging customer requests due to pandemic. Using our upgraded system, the AI chatbots in our overseas call centers can now handle nearly 80% of our total requests. Providing reliable and efficient customer service has always been our mission and the driving force behind our business. In 2021, Trip.com’s customer satisfaction rate was 98%.

Next, I would like to talk about corporate responsibility. [Indecipherable] hit the hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. Three years since the affect of the pandemic, the travel industry performance is yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. However, over the past three years, Trip.com Group has proactively stood out and made significant efforts to support the travel ecosystem to weather the crisis and prepare for the restoration of global travel. We facilitated guaranteed cancellations and cover the losses for our customers and offered financial assistance as well as operational and marketing support to our travel industry partners. As James mentioned, we have achieved several milestones on the way to pursue industry-leading ESG practices in 2021. In March, we launched our five-year rural revitalization plan with the target to build 10 countryside retreats for industry benchmark and to empower 100 more by 2025. These country side retreats will help boost the local economy by attracting tourists to these areas and creatimg job opportunities.

In June, Trip.com Group joined the UN Global Compact, representing our commitment to create a more sustainable future for the travel industry and society. In October, we were glad to receive UN award for gender inclusive workplace as a recognition of our continued efforts in improving gender equality and inclusion. Recently, we rolled out a hybrid work model, provided by successful experiments. We hope to improve employees satisfaction and work efficiency. More importantly, we newly established our ESG committee aiming to incorporate sustainability practices into our future strategic making processes.

As we discussed, every cloud has a silver lining, while the certainty around to the pandemic development remains, the normalization of global travel is right on track. Led by our strategy of local focus and global vision, our business in domestic China market is steadily climbing up. On international front, we will take the lead to prepare for the global travel reopening.

With that, I will now turn the call over to Cindy.

Cindy Xiaofan Wang — Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President

Thanks, Jane. Good morning everyone. For the fourth quarter of 2021, Trip.com Group reported net revenue of RMB4.7 billion, representing a 6% decrease year-over-year, primarily due to new waves of pandemic outbreak in certain regions of China. For the full year of 2021, net revenue was RMB20 billion, representing a 9% increase from 2020, mainly driven by our business recovery in China domestic market. Accommodation reservation revenue for the first quarter of 2021 was RMB1.9 billion, representing a 14% decrease year-over-year, recovering to 65% of the 2019 level. For the full year of 2021, accommodation reservation revenue was RMB8.1 billion, representing a 14% increase from 2020.

Domestic hotel booking have nearly fully recovered to 2019 level for the fourth quarter, mainly driven by the growth of short-haul travel. In the fourth quarter, hotel bookings for the intra-provincial states increased by over 30% compared to the same period in 2019 with local hotel bookings growing by over 50%. Transportation ticketing revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021 was RMB1.5 billion, representing 11% decrease year-over-year, recovering to 44% of the 2019 level. For the full year of 2021, transportation ticketing revenue was RMB6.9 billion, representing a 3% decrease from 2020.

Domestic transportation recovery momentum was disrupted by resurgence of COVID cases for the fourth quarter, while international air business saw sequential improvements compared to the previous quarter, mainly contributed by the recovery in Europe. Package tour revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021 was RMB177 million, representing a 32% decrease year-over-year, recovering to 22% of the 2019 level. For the full year of 2021, packaged tour business was RMB1.1 billion, representing 11% decrease from 2020.

Corporate travel revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021 was RMB367 million, representing a 20% increase year-over-year, recovering to 98% of the 2019 level. For the full year of 2021, corporate travel revenue was RMB1.3 billion, representing a 54% increase from 2020. This segment continues to gain momentum, validated by expansion of client pool and increase of cross-selling to accommodation products. Compared to the same period in 2019, accommodation bookings on Ctrip corporate travel maintained triple-digit growth for both Q4 and full year of 2021. Excluding share-based compensation charges, our total adjusted operating expenses was flattish compared to the previous quarter and decreased by 33% compared to the same period in 2019. This reflects our effective cost control and efficient operating management across business lines.

Adjusted product development expenses for the fourth quarter decreased by 5% from the previous quarter. It achieved a saving of 19% when compared with the same period in 2019 as we continue to run lean and maintain a stable headcount in the team. Adjusted sales and marketing expenses for the fourth quarter maintained stable from the previous quarter and decreased by 49% compared with the same period in 2019. The saving comes from our prudent spending protocol in response to the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. Adjusted G&A expenses for the fourth quarter maintained stable from the previous quarter. It is a saving of 22% when compared to the same period in 2019.

Adjusted EBITDA was RMB54 million for the fourth quarter and RMB1.3 billion for the full year of 2021. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 1% for the fourth quarter and 6% in 2021. Diluted loss per ordinary share and per ADS were RMB1.29 or $0.20. For the fourth quarter, excluding share-based compensation charges and fair value changes of equity security investments and exchangeable senior notes, non-GAAP diluted earnings per ordinary share and per ADS were RMB0.48 or $0.08 for the fourth quarter.

As of December 31, 2021, the balance of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, short-term investment held to maturity time deposit and financial products was RMB63.9 billion or $10 billion.

Now turning to the first quarter of 2022. We would like to share some color of our business. Entering into 2022, we are delighted to see that our domestic business sustained better than industry performance in the first two months. Domestic hotel bookings increased by over 20% year-over-year and was close to full recovery compared to 2019. Domestic air reservations also grew at high single-digits year-over-year. However, another round of COVID outbreaks in March slowed down the recovery pace of domestic travel industry, especially in top-tier cities. Outbound travel remains rather muted under current conditions. Outside of China, the recovery momentum in Europe and the US remained robust. Our international brands showed further improvements during the first two months, benefiting from the relaxation of travel restrictions and vaccine rollout. The path to recovery is bright, but never straight.

Under the fast changing marketing conditions, we have adopted strict cost control to drive-up operational efficiency across brands over the past two years. All these efforts allow us to quickly accommodate industry changes and put us in a favorable position to grow faster after COVID. Going forward, we will remain highly adaptive to identify emerging market trends and to seize growth opportunities.

With that, operator, please open the line for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from Alex Yao from JPMorgan. Please go ahead.

Alex Yao — JPMorgan — Analyst

Thank you, management for taking my question. How does the current pandemic situation in China change your expectation on China’s border reopening and the outbound travel recovery? Thank you.

James Jianzhang Liang — Co-founder, Executive Chairman of the Board

Although we are optimistic about pent-up demand for international travel, we do not expect changes in the international travel policy in near-term. As we are still seeing waves of COVID outbreaks in multiple regions in the country, which continues to put travel industry in depression. On the other side, right now close to 90% of the China’s total population are fully vaccinated with two shots, over 45% of the total population have received booster shots. With the current health care measures and importantly lower mortality rate, we are finally seeing the coronavirus becoming a hopefully more manageable threat. According to [Technical Issues] there will be a roadmap for Chinese now living with the COVID in the near future and appropriate time.

Potential measures may include travel bubbles and experimental opening measures in selected cities as early as summer. Foreign Minister, Wang Yi also mentioned during two sessions about plan to launch the electronic international travel health certificate to facilitate cross border travel that is safe, healthy and convenient. Hong Kong is currently going through the Omicron outbreak. It is estimated that it may take two to three months to bring the situation under control. Meanwhile, we are still optimistic about the Hong Kong mainland border reopening and has potential to do so in the second half of 2022. Although we are optimistic about pent-up demand on international travel [Technical Issues]

Michelle Qi — Investor Relations Director

Hello. Can we move on to the next question?

Operator

Thank you. Your next question comes from Alex Poon from Morgan Stanley. Please go ahead.

Alex Poon — Morgan Stanley — Analyst

Hi, good morning, management. Thank you for taking my question. My question is follow up on the border policy. With that in mind, how should we think about the revenue recovery in 2022 and 2023 compared to 2019. Thank you very much.

Jane-Jie-Sun — Chief Executive Officer, Director

For the domestic China market, as we shared in the prepared remarks, we are more cautious about near-term travel momentum. Meanwhile, we have recently seen the authority making efforts to reduce potential disruption from Omicron cases, such as relaxing unnecessary quarantine and lockdown measures and approving the use of Pfizer’s COVID pill. On the global front, with more countries decided to remove restrictions and live with COVID, the global travel market has set foot for its on its way to recover. While we could not rule out the possibility that there will be other virus variants or spikes in cases followed by revival of lockdowns, we believe temporary headwinds will not affect the overall recovery trajectory, especially in the long run.

So we think pretty much the current situation is in line with our previous expectation that the world should be more normalized in, for example, 2023 or 2024. In the meantime, we will make efforts to improve our competitiveness, especially in the short-haul business and customize the travel for the China domestic market and we will continue to increase our advertising revenues and for the international business, we won’t do ourselves to catch-up the pent-up demand for the international business. We believe these will be the main drivers for our sustainable growth beyond COVID.

Operator

Thank you. Your next question comes from Ronald Keung from Goldman Sachs. Please go ahead.

Ronald Keung — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Thank you, James, Jane and Cindy. Want to ask about the domestic competitive landscape that I think we have been focusing on regional travel, nearby travel and penetrate into lower-tier cities. So how is the recent development and could you also share your performance in high-star hotels versus low-end low-star hotels? Thank you.

Jane-Jie-Sun — Chief Executive Officer, Director

Sure. Thanks to the regulatory to environment, we are benefited from a more healthy and rational competition within the domestic market. Everyone is focusing its strengths. So we look at the high-end hotel. We have been helping our partners try to upsell products that is helpful in this very challenging environment. For example, while the hotel is being sold, we also help our partners to sell restaurants and also spa product etc. So while our guests are staying with high-end hotel, they have a good experience not only enjoy the room, but also our total package. And based on our visibility, the hotels that participate in these kind of packages sales have been benefited from these promotions and to an extent we help them to alleviate the challenge by upselling these products for them.

In corporate travel, again, the environment is challenging, but yet our growth is very sizable. So we’re also helping our business partners to get the business travelers to an extent there is still solid demand in the environment that permits. And in the lower-tier cities, our penetration is excessive. We have seen intra-province and the local hotel growth to be significant. As we stated in the previous remarks, the intra-province and local stay growth represents about 30% and 50% year-over-year growth respectively. So we were continuous with our efforts in penetrating into our domestic market while preparing for the outbound travel for its recovery when time is ready. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Your next question comes from Thomas Chong from Jefferies. Please go ahead.

Thomas Chong — Jefferies LLC — Analyst

Hi, good morning. Thanks management for taking my questions. Given the uncertainties in the macroenvironment, how should we think about the cost trend in 2022? Thank you.

Jane-Jie-Sun — Chief Executive Officer, Director

Thank you, Thomas. Thanks to our largely flexible cost and expense structure as well as the efficient operating management, during the past few quarters of pandemic, we have streamlined our operations across business lines in addition to certain adjustment related to COVID. In addition, our improvement on content cross selling and technology have further led our overall marketing efficiencies. Going forward, we continue to expect to have a very disciplined and flexible cost structure for the year 2022, especially for the comparatively more matured domestic market. We will continue to strengthening our cost control and expect to see more increase or even decrease in the total headcount to serve the domestic market.

In the overseas market, we may slightly increase our total investment to capture the pent-up demand, depending on the growth momentum and business recoveries in that market. For the sales and marketing expenses, which are largely discretional and it will be adjusted in accordance to the business recoveries. For example, currently, based on the current situation for the domestic market, we almost minimized our total spendings on the sales marketing for the domestic market. But same compared with the headcount, we may slightly increase our investment to capture the pent-up demand for the overseas international market. But overall, especially for the 2022, we expect to a very disciplined total cost for our operations. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from James Lee from Mizuho. Please go ahead.

James Lee — Mizuho Securities — Analyst

Great. Thanks for taking my questions. If I can squeeze in two here quickly. On your hybrid work plan, can we get a sense how much of your employee base has this option, any implication to your cost structure here.

And secondly, anything you’ve learned from the recent [Technical Issues] National Congress a few weeks ago that could provide positive lift to travel industry long-term, in terms of government investing technology for tourism or any potential fiscal support for the hospitality industry. Thank you.

Jane-Jie-Sun — Chief Executive Officer, Director

Sure, thanks James. James will answer the first question and I will take the second one.

James Jianzhang Liang — Co-founder, Executive Chairman of the Board

Yes. We are glad to be the first Internet company in mainland China to adopt such comprehensive hybrid working model. Look, this hybrid work model [Technical Issues] future potential and advantages. Hybrid work has already been rolled out in our China office earlier this month. Business line managers will decide how to pick up hybrid model that will benefit their operations the most. For each [Technical Issues] have option to apply for working at home one to two days a week. Salary calculations and performance evaluation methodology will remain unchanged. The new work model will also be implemented in our global offices. The new policy is a result of series of experiments that we have conducted over the years. We are glad to see job satisfaction and happiness increased without compromising work efficiency. It also helps to lower labor turnover by 30% to 50%. For many, hybrid working it’s not only a win-win for the companies and employees and it also has a potential to reduce traffic congestion, alleviate high housing prices and it contributes to female career development and the families. With such positive and far-reaching effect on society and economy, which would help the hybrid work can be adopted by more companies in the future.

Jane-Jie-Sun — Chief Executive Officer, Director

Thank you, James. As we said, Trip.com takes tremendous social responsibility. While we are facing lot of challenges during this special time, we have established many policies that is very friendly and supportive for our small and medium sized partners. For example, we established RMB1 billion partnership fund during a very difficult time to help our partners with their cash flow. We also established RMB10 billion loan with the support from the major banks partners and support small and the medium size partners and certainly we also try to build country side resorts and helping our area in the remote area by bringing affluent customers from the area that have economic development to the area that is less developed, so that we can create job opportunities in these remote area and helping the local workers with their salary with the support for their families. So continuously, we will try to build an ecosystem not only by giving the donation and money into the ecosystem, but also create jobs, which is sustainable to help these area with their sustainability and for the common prosperity and our efforts will be enhanced throughout the years. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from Brian Gong from Citi. Please go ahead.

Brian Gong — Citi — Analyst

Yeah. Good morning, James, Jane, Cindy and Michelle. So my question is, we have made quite decent progress on our content platform. Can you give some more updates on our content strategy. What is our monetization plan over short-term and long-term? Thank you.

Jane-Jie-Sun — Chief Executive Officer, Director

Yeah. The content strategy is very important for us and we have seen very positive progress in this area. First of all, our KOLs have increased by 25% sequentially in Q4. Secondly, the UGC by the new creators also increased by more than 80% compared to Q3. And thirdly, almost 30% of our app unique visitors try to view our content channel. And fourthly, our daily interactions by our users doubled year-over-year. And lastly, we have seen that the conversion rate from our content to transaction is extremely high, which is the highest in the industry. So content strategy works very well and we try to provide one-stop shopping platform, not only on the fulfillment on the transaction, but also from the get-go while our customers are researching, try to decide where to go, they can come to our sites directly and find their inspiration. So we will continuously invest in our content strategy. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from Tian Hou from T.H. Capital. Please go ahead.

Tian Hou — T.H. Capital — Analyst

Yeah. Good morning management. Just one question. As global markets reopens, so what will be Ctrip’s or TCOM’s package of advantage to gain more market share in overseas markets, not this year, but in the next several years. That’s the question. Thank you.

James Jianzhang Liang — Co-founder, Executive Chairman of the Board

Sure. If you look at our portfolio, we have four parts. The first one is Chinese people travel within China, which we discussed already. The second one is Chinese people travel abroad, which we believe Trip.com is in a very good position once the border opens. The third one years to attract customers around the world into China, which is to develop the inbound business. We are very glad that our nation has adopted the 14th five-year plan and put attracting the inbound customer as one of the key strategy going forward and we will support our government in preparation to attract more customers abroad into China.

And the last one is foreign to foreign, which is to support our customers from one country to another. And if we look at our global operation, the travel in the area that has already opened up, the growth is very strong. We have seen three digits growth in Europe in many other countries. So we’re very much — we will work very hard with our local partners to make sure our service, our technology and also our product will be ready to address the increase the demand in the global places. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. That does conclude our question-and-answer session. At this time, I’ll now hand back to Michelle Qi for closing remarks.

Michelle Qi — Investor Relations Director

Thank you. Thank you everyone for joining us today. You can find the transcript and webcast of today’s call on investors.trip.com. We look forward to speaking with you on our first quarter of 2022 earnings call. Thank you and have a good day.

Jane-Jie-Sun — Chief Executive Officer, Director

Thank you very much.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Disclaimer

This transcript is produced by AlphaStreet, Inc. While we strive to produce the best transcripts, it may contain misspellings and other inaccuracies. This transcript is provided as is without express or implied warranties of any kind. As with all our articles, AlphaStreet, Inc. does not assume any responsibility for your use of this content, and we strongly encourage you to do your own research, including listening to the call yourself and reading the company’s SEC filings. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed in this transcript constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of securities or commodities. Any opinion expressed in the transcript does not necessarily reflect the views of AlphaStreet, Inc.

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