Ctrip, owner of the Scottish headquartered travel search site Skyscanner, has announced it will open a customer service call centre in Edinburgh and aims to create up to 200 jobs over the next few years.

China’s largest and the world’s second largest online travel agency has been expanding its travel services for both outbound Chinese travellers and international travellers for several years. The Edinburgh call centre aims to provide a “high-level customer service experience across time zones and languages”.

While the call centre will be separate to the operationally independent Skyscanner, Ctrip intends to learn best practice from Skyscanner’s experience in providing online customer service across multiple time zones and 26 languages. The company acquired Skyscanner in December 2016 for £1.4bn.

“[The] leadership team has visited Edinburgh several times since the acquisition of Skyscanner at the end of last year,” said Ctrip director Coley Dale. “It is clear to us that there is considerable talent in Scotland and the city makes an ideal base to open a dedicated call centre.

“While Chinese travellers continue to be the focus for Ctrip, we’re step by step investing in our services across the world. We’re excited to be building roots here in Edinburgh and will be recruiting at scale for our new office.”

Managing director of Scottish Development International, Paul Lewis, said: “We are delighted Ctrip has chosen Edinburgh for its first call centre outside China.

“The company joins many international investors which recognise the strength of our skills base, competitive business environment and effective support network.  We look forward to working with Ctrip to help deliver this significant investment and new jobs for Scotland.”

Skyscanner, which was set-up in 2003, is available in more than 30 languages, with about 60 million monthly active users. It continues to be run independently, with the same management team.