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--the travel companion of TOM.COM--
in action to tap the online China travel market

Hong Kong, April 6, 2000 ------ itravel Limited, the travel-related joint venture of TOM.COM Limited (TOM.COM) and China Travel Network Co. Ltd. (CTN), announced the launch of, the travel portal with full-fledged services and products targeting both the inbound and outbound travel of the China market. Hong Kong is the debut city and will be unveiled step by step in other China inbound markets.

With the strong backup from its shareholder CTN, a leading travel web operator, as well as its close links with China International Travel Service (CITS), the largest Mainland travel agency, aims to become the premier internet choice for foreigners traveling to China and China nationals traveling to the world.

"In 1999, a record of 72 million visitors traveled to China which is forecast to become the No.1 travel destination in the world by 2020. At the outset, will tap the huge potential of the China inbound travel market, offering China visitors an authoritative library of information on China as well as exclusive and custom-made China travel products and services. It is set to deliver one-stop travel service to both the B2C and B2B markets," said itravel Limited CEO Mr Chen Guo Ping at today's launch ceremony.

For business or leisure travelers alike, they will be able to make use of the extensive and in-depth online China destination information on GoChinaGo, from city guides to recommended restaurants, hotels and shops, when planning trips. With essential travelling tips and real-time information embracing flight schedules, accommodation, ground transportation, visa requirements, activities and tours, and updated China travel news, users can take full charge when planning their trips.

At the same time, GoChinaGo offers a full range of travel options, online booking and e-commerce capabilities with full customer service support. All travel tours, air tickets to all major cities in China, hotel accommodation to 580 hotels can be easily booked online. Bringing the best of China to the world, the portal assembles a variety of premium and exotic tours, with unique itinerary and specific themes like namely, adventure, ethnic, golden trip, historical, natural wonders and pilgrim to meet the different and diverse needs of worldwide travelers.

At the launch stage, a total of 28 tours, and travel data covering 10 Chinese provinces, 20 cities and 50 major attractions will be offered for travelers' viewing and selection. Custom made tour is also available for local China market. The special "Silk Road Adventure Tour", the first one to depart on 19 April, is chosen as the theme for the debut month. Other upcoming theme tours include "Golden Trip", "Pilgrim", "Natural Wonder ", "Ethnic" and "Historical".

"Apart from the inbound China travel market, we shall exploit later the vast opportunities presented by outbound travel from China. As the travel companion of TOM.COM, allows users a complete and seamless virtual "China experience" as well as actual physical tours through the complementary content of TOM and itravel, " Mr Chen commented.

For the travel trade community, the website will act as a virtual marketplace where they can build contacts, extend networks and create links with other travel partners to offer competitive travel packages. The "Travel Mart", which will go online from May, will allow registered trade members to enjoy benefits like communicating directly with Chinese travel businesses, having access to China travel statistics, directories of tour operators, travel agents, hotels and airlines, as well as trading of selling and buying travel products online. also presents special community features for travelers including the distinctive eight-topic chat room and message boards, catering for backpackers, food lovers, adventure and business travelers and culture enthusiasts.

As a multi-lingual travel portal, will be available first in English and Chinese. It will then be launched in other top inbound markets to China including Taiwan, Japan, USA and Korea. Local language versions will be developed.

Set up in September 1999, itravel Limited is a joint venture of TOM.COM LIMITED and China Travel Network Co., Ltd. to provide PRC travel-related content and online travel agency services. TOM.COM holds 55% of itravel while CTN holds 45%.

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Issued by WORLDCOM Hong Kong Ltd on behalf of itravel Limited.
For press enquiries, please contact WORLDCOM Hong Kong:-
Rachel Chan, tel: 2864 4883, e-mail: [email protected]
Helen Lam, tel: 2864 4872, e-mail: [email protected]