THE CHINESE company that paid £1.4 billion for Edinburgh travel search business Skyscanner last year has made a further investment in the Scottish capital that is expected to lead to the creation of up to 200 jobs.

Shanghai-based online travel agency Ctrip is launching a customer service centre in Edinburgh to help with booking-related queries from its growing international customer base.

The company is receiving financial support from Scottish Development International, a government-backed agency that focuses on incentivising international businesses to invest in the country.

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While a spokesperson for SDI parent Scottish Enterprise said its “package of support” is being finalised, Ctrip director Coley Dale said the money would “help with initial investment in high training costs for employees’ first three months, which could have posed a barrier to entry versus other European locations”.

Earlier this year Australian financial services company Computershare received £2 million in funding to help launch an Edinburgh technology centre that is expected to create 300 jobs while global law firm Ashurst was promised a total of £2.4m from SDI if it meets its target of creating 300 jobs within five years of its 2013 launch in Glasgow.

According to Mr Dale it will take several years for Ctrip to reach its target of 200 jobs, although he said the business is currently recruiting for a range of roles including various managers, trainers and customer service agents.

The centre, which is expected to go live at beginning of 2018, will not be part of the Skyscanner business, which operates independently from its owner.

That said, Mr Dale noted that Ctrip will “learn best practice from Skyscanner’s experience in providing online customer service across multiple time zones and 26 languages”.

“The choice of Edinburgh as a city is partly due to the fact Skyscanner’s largest office is located there, but the high quality of local talent was also a key consideration,” he said.

“Ctrip’s leadership team has visited Edinburgh several times since the acquisition of Skyscanner at the end of last year.

“It is clear to us that there is considerable talent in Scotland and the city makes an ideal base for Ctrip to open a dedicated call centre.”

Although most of Ctrip’s customers are based in China, Mr Dale said the company is not looking for Chinese speakers to work at the call centre.

“While Chinese travellers make up the majority of Ctrip users, the company continues to expand outside of China,” he said.

“As such, it is looking to provide high-quality customer service to travellers across different time zones and languages.”

The news comes after Ctrip announced earlier this month that the Skyscanner acquisition helped bolster its financial results in the second quarter of this year.

Skyscanner, which continues to be run by chief executive and co-founder Gareth Williams, also did well out of the Ctrip deal, receiving an £18m tax credit in the 2016 financial year.