Airbnb booking data from China offers glimpse of a rebound
>> Airbnb's number of domestic bookings in China for the first half of April were up more than 200% compared with the same period in March, according to data from third-party analytics firm AirDNA. Bookings for the week of April 13 in 10 big Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Guangzhou, were up nearly 80% from the week of March 16, which AirDNA CEO Scott Shatford said was the bottom for that market.
IHG's China business improves steadily
>> IHG said it expects Q1 Global RevPAR to decrease 25%, including a 55% decline in March. Business in Greater China continues to improve steadily, with only 12 out of 470 hotels now closed. Occupancy levels in comparable open hotels are currently in the low to mid 20% range across the business.
Tourism sector goes digital amid epidemic
>> China's tourism sector is seeking long-term development to offset losses brought by the COVID-19 epidemic, with smarter infrastructure and live broadcast provided by many scenic spots. Statistics show that consumers who used to be price-sensitive are shifting to focus more on safety. According to Qunar, flight bookings on the travel platform for business class and first-class cabins, which enjoy lower passenger density, increased 46% from February, over 10% higher than that of the economy class.
China expects post-COVID19 travel surge as Japan hunkers down
>> As many Japanese laments their loss of travel plans over the upcoming Golden Week holidays from late April to early May, more than 80 million Chinese are expected to enjoy the Labor Day holiday, their first vacation since the coronavirus lockdowns. Trip.com Group expects to see twice as many travelers during the five-day holiday compared with the 43 million recorded during the Qingming tomb-sweeping festival earlier this month.
Hong Kong under pressure to relax travel restrictions with mainland
>> There is increasing pressure on Hong Kong’s government to relax coronavirus travel restrictions between the city and mainland China. Some politicians have called for an exemption for business travelers, at the very least, as the COVID-19 infection rate drops. The calls came despite neighbor Shenzhen announcing that from Tuesday all travelers to it would have to stay at a designated quarantine center for 14 days for medical observation.
China as destination will take long time to bounce back
>> Before COVID-19, China was predicted a steady 2% CAGR between 2016 and 2020 reaching 63.9 million international arrivals, according to data analytics firm GlobalData. But the virus outbreak this year severely impacted China as a tourism destination. The brand image of China may be damaged, but that can be restored provided the relevant DMOs engage travelers with effective campaigns.
Skyscanner sees signs of optimism for second half of year
>> Latest consumer sentiment insight from Skyscanner have shown considerable improvements in respondents’ optimism over an improving situation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pulse survey results from the metasearch site have revealed the percentage of travelers who think the situation is worsening has dropped from 61% to 35% over the last three weeks. Skyscanner said volumes of flight searches and bookings on its website and app product remain low. Searches for travel in December increased by 30% over the last three weeks, with long-haul destinations such as Bangkok, New York, Orlando and Sydney the most searched.