Travel booking unicorn Klook buys a car rental firm
>> ChinaTravelNews learned that tours and activities booking startup Klook has acquired Huizhuche, an overseas car rental platform for Chinese travelers. Huizhuche has a service network of over 50,000 outlets, covering 5,000 cities in around 180 countries and serving nearly 4 million users worldwide. A source told ChinaTravelNews that Klook spent less than USD 10 million in its acquisition of Huizhuche, a price tag much lower than the car rental firm's claimed value of hundreds of millions of US dollars after its series B round in 2016.
Business travel platform Helios secures $42 million
>> Helios (or Huilianyi), a business travel and expense management SaaS platform, received RMB 300 million (USD 42 million) in its C+ round of funding, in which China Renaissance’s New Economy Fund was the lead investor, while existing shareholders Softbank China Capital, Blue Lake Capital and Z Capital also took part. Helios has provided its solutions to thousands of enterprises such as Trip.com Group, Didi Chuxing and JD.com to digitalize the expense reimbursement process.
Travel e-commerce service Ksher closes A+ round funding
>> Global mobile payment solution provider Ksher said it has closed its series A+ round of financing, securing millions of US dollars. MindWorks Ventures was the lead investor, and strategic shareholders in Japan and Malaysia also participated. Established in 2016, Ksher provides cross-border payment services for travelers in the start-up phase and then progressed to financial and marketing technology solutions for global merchants.
Trip.com CEO expects China's domestic tourism to recover within months
>> Trip.com Group's CEO Jane Sun said China's domestic travel industry is poised to resume normal activity by the summer. Ms. Sun said she was hopeful her company could forge the recovery of one of the industries hardest hit by the virus. Her comments come as China prepares to further strip back months-long lockdown measures. After kick-starting domestic travel in China, she said the next step is to work with other Asian countries thought to have a handle on the virus, such a Singapore, Japan and Korea, to discuss easing present travel restrictions.
Chinese airlines confident of ‘triumph’ amid global disruption
>> China’s airlines struck a defiant tone in their annual results, saying they see only a short-term hit from the coronavirus outbreak, despite unprecedented disruptions and expected losses for the global aviation industry. Air China sounded the most optimistic, saying the country’s economy remains on a steady growth path with a positive long-term outlook. “We will surely be able to triumph over this battle of containing the pandemic,” Air China said in a statement Tuesday.
Radisson continues to expand in China
>> Radisson Hotel Group continues to expand in China with the signing of its inaugural property in Nanjing. The property will be under the brand of Radisson Blu, Europe’s largest upper-upscale brand.
Chinese airlines revise international flight schedules
>> Chinese airlines have revamped their international flight schedules between late March and the beginning of May after the Civil Aviation Authority of China decided to limit the number of international flights coming in and out of China in an effort to curtail imported COVID-19 cases. Air China has remained scheduled flights to 23 international destinations including the U.S, Canada, France, Denmark, and Poland. China Eastern Airlines will operate around 40 flights per week to around 19 international destinations.
Chinese in Russia pries the China tourism trade
>> Until the coronavirus pandemic shut tourism down, half the foreign visitors to Russia were from China. Now they’ve all disappeared, leaving empty streets. But the Russian tour guides don’t mourn their absence, having already been edged out by cut-price Chinese operators. The introduction of visa-free entry for Chinese tour groups in 2015 set off an explosion of Chinese tourism in Russia, their number surpassing two million visitors in 2018, according to the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism.