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Disney names new CEO; Trip.com Group firm changes chief | Daily Brief

02/26/2020| 10:08:38 PM| ChinaTravelNews

Asia-Pacific destinations continue to report a hotel occupancy impact amid the outbreak; China Eastern launched a fresh carrier.

Key developments: 

* Disney names theme-park head as new CEO 
* Tokyo Olympics at risk of cancellation
* Trip.com Group firm changes CEO
* China Eastern unveils new airlines

Worldwide updates:

Disney bets on tourism experience in new CEO 

>> Disney CEO Bob Iger has stepped down and the company has appointed Bob Chapek, head of parks, experiences and products business, as the new CEO. Iger will remain executive chairman through the end of his contract Dec. 31, 2021.

Tokyo Olympics could be canceled

>> A senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said outright cancellation of the Games, rather than postponement or relocation, would be likely if the disease proved too dangerous for the event – which is scheduled to start on 24 July – to go ahead. 

Dick Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion who has been on the IOC since 1978, estimated there is a three-month window – perhaps a two-month one – to decide the fate of the Tokyo Games, meaning a decision could be put off until late May. 

Trip.com-backed Qunar’s CEO appointed as head of Tujia

>> Chinese vacation rental platform Tujia has appointed Gang Chen, CEO of Qunar.com, as the platform's CEO. Mr. Chen will retain his CEO post at Qunar.com.

The move is seen as a decision by the leadership of the Trip.com Group (formerly Ctrip), which invested in both Tujia and Qunar. 

Asia Pacific hotels feeling the pinch

>> Top Asia Pacific destinations for Chinese outbound travelers continue to report a hotel occupancy impact amid the virus outbreak, according to February data from STR.

Macao saw the steepest occupancy decline of 97%, falling from absolute level of 96% to just 3% in six weeks. Hong Kong dropped by 64% to an occupancy rate of 25%. Australia (+11% to 73%) and Indonesia (+4% to 58%) reported increases in the metric thanks to more recent gains. 

In January, Asia Pacific's occupancy declined by 11.3% to 57.8% and RevPAR was USD 60.15, down by 7.5%. 

Radisson CEO plays down coronavirus impact

>> Federico Gonzalez, the CEO of Radisson Hospitality AB, the European arm of the Radisson Hotel Group, downplayed the impact of the coronavirus on the company. 

Radisson began a pilot program last year to co-brand some of its properties with the name of its new owner Jin Jiang in the hope of tapping into the growing outbound Chinese travel market. 

Airlines, hotels extend rebooking options

>> Airlines and hotels are extending options for consumers to rebook journey to a rising checklist of nations, together with Italy, as coronavirus instances spiked outside of China and sparked fears of a world pandemic. 

Delta mentioned that reservations by way of March 2 on flights to Bologna, Milan and Venice in northern Italy are eligible for rescheduling. Air Canada has added components of Italy to its checklist of locations eligible for rebookings. Hyatt Hotels said it might permit vacationers from South Korea, Japan and Italy to cancel or change their lodge bookings without spending a dime.

Lufthansa to freeze hiring, cut costs

>> German airline Lufthansa said it would freeze new hires and use unpaid leave and additional short-time work to cut costs to help cushion the economic impact of the novel coronavirus. 

The Frankfurt-based group said 13 of its aircraft were grounded, after it canceled all flights to and from mainland China by its flagship airline, as well as Austrian and Swiss until March 28.

China Eastern unveils new airlines

>> China Eastern Airlines Corp launched a fresh subsidiary - OTT Airlines - to push home-grown aircraft to wider markets, the carrier said on its official account on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

The Shanghai-based airline said OTT Airlines would be the first airline to operate Commercial Aircraft Corp of China’s C919 narrow-body planes, which are undergoing flight testing. The C919 was designed to compete with the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737 MAX model that remains grounded after two deadly crashes.

Travel-food group warns on coronavirus hit to sales

>> British travel-food company SSP warned of a 50% fall in February sales across the Asia Pacific region as the coronavirus outbreak drove a sharp decline in domestic and international air passenger numbers. 

SSP, which operates restaurants and bars in airports and railway stations, said it had also seen some impact to passenger numbers at airports in Australia, as well as at major travel hubs in the Middle East and India. The company gets 8% of its revenue from Asia Pacific.

TAGS: Disney | Tokyo Olympics | Trip.com Group | Daily Brief
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