FM meets CTrip CEO
Sturgeon in talks with Skyscanner’s Chinese owner
Nicola Sturgeon with Jane Sun
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday shared her ambitions for greater gender equality with one of China’s most powerful business leaders.
Ms Sturgeon met Jane Sun, chief executive at Ctrip, the largest online travel agent in Asia and the second largest in the world, which acquired the Edinburgh-based search engine Skyscanner at the end of 2016.
Ms Sun reassured Ms Sturgeon that Ctrip strongly adheres to the United Nation Women’s Empowerment Principles and ensures that the female voice is heard.
With more than 50% of its 30,000 plus employees being female, Ctrip has a higher percentage of females on its payroll than the Top 25 Tech companies in Silicon Valley which stands at 19.6%.
Ms Sturgeon said Scotland’s goal is to achieve a 50/50 gender representation on the boards of public, private and voluntary sector boards by 2020.
For Chinese travellers, Edinburgh remains a top destination followed by the Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness. Ctrip said it continues to play a vital role in promoting peace and understanding through travel.
Further integration of technology and innovation as well as the ongoing investment in artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing has allowed the company to adapt to growing demands.
It now deploys customer service robots and virtual tour managers and is developing a partnership with Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I was delighted to meet with Jane Sun and her Ctrip colleagues today for what was a fascinating exchange of ideas.
“Ctrip’s investment in Scotland is a great example of collaboration between Scotland and China in the key areas of tourism and the economy – and with a direct flight between Edinburgh and Beijing about to begin, this will only go from strength to strength.”
Ms Sun said: “The relationship between China and Scotland has always been a positive one. As more Chinese visit Scotland, mutual respect and understanding is reinforced. Ctrip remains by the side of our travellers to ensure that they have a positive experience and we look forward to more collaboration with Scotland across all fields.”