China will be one of a select group of countries that will be exempted by a European Union travel ban on July 1 meant to keep travelers from countries heavily infected by COVID-19 from reaching the European continent. Travelers from the United States, Brazil and Russia, the three most heavily infected countries on Earth, will be denied entry into the EU.
Bloomberg reported that Chinese residents will be allowed to visit the EU, on the condition Beijing will also allow European citizens to travel to China. But even if some countries have implemented an open policy for Chinese tourists, there is a high probability that China will not initiate organized and individual overseas travel, given the risk of overseas epidemics, and the quarantine time after returning to China.
In light of calls for a nationwide boycott of Chinese goods by a trade body in India, the Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owners’ Association which claims to represent 3,000 budget hotels and guest houses in India’s capital has pledged to also ban Chinese citizens from their hotels and restaurants.
China’s struggle against the economic overhang of the coronavirus is far from over. Renewed limits on social activities have dampened the pace of recovery, as evident from the nearly 69% drop in tourism revenue during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival that officially ended Saturday. Roughly 48.81 million tourist trips during the holiday brought in revenue of RMB 12.28 billion (USD 1.73 billion), a drop of 68.8% from the RMB 39.33 billion last year, according to official data.
At least 14 international carriers have announced plans to resume air service in China as of June 27, according to a report of ThePaper.cn. The Shanghai-based news outlet compiled a list of global airlines with China flights starting in June or July. The list includes Air France, Delta Air Lines, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, United Airlines and All Nippon Airways.
People in Beijing rushed to buy train and plane tickets out of the Chinese capital after the local government began easing travel restrictions for the first time since an outbreak that was discovered in mid-June. Residents from areas of Beijing designated "low risk" will be allowed to leave the city without having to be tested negative for the coronavirus from July 4, Mr Pan Xuhong, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Public Security, said on Friday (July 3).
Airbnb China announced it has appointed Siew Kum Hong as chief operating officer. Mr. Siew will be fully responsible for the company's routine operation and management in China. He will bypass Airbnb China president Mr. Tao Peng and report directly to Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb's co-founder, chief strategy officer and chairman of Airbnb China. Prior to that, Mr. Siew served as Airbnb's interim head of China in 2017 before Mr. Peng's appointment in 2018.
Disney is to cut a significant number of jobs in Hong Kong over the coming months, staff have been told. It is understood that the plans, which have been hatching for some months, were explained formally to staff on Friday. Unconfirmed estimates of the number of job losses run from 100-150. Disney has not issued a statement.
IHG announced that it has inked an agreement with a partner in Wuhan to introduce the company's voco brand into the China market. This marks the eleventh brand that IHG has brought to China. The voco brand currently has 12 hotels in operation and 18 hotels in pipeline worldwide.
In a report about the operation of China’s civil aviation from January to May 2020 released recently by airline data platform Flight Master, the passenger throughput for January to May was said to have declined 56.54% year-on-year to 117 million. By May, the number of passengers increased by 54.54% month-on-month, and the passenger load factor of the five major Chinese carriers climbed to above 60%.
China's dominant airline IT provider TravelSky said that it sees significant declines in air passenger number due to the impact of coronavirus. Volume processed by the systems of international and regional commercial airlines dropped by more than 87% in January-May this year. The company projected that it may record losses for the first half of 2020.
The hotel industry has been severely dented by COVID-19 since early 2020. The number of hotel enterprises registered in the first half of this year was at its lowest in five years, and was 30% fewer than that in the same period of 2019. More than 40,000 hotel companies have closed down from January to June. The rate of hotels going under accelerated since March, with 6,000 hotels folded in March, 7,000 in April, 11,000 in May and more than 15,000 in June.
Indonesia will still be a lucrative tourist destination in the post-pandemic era with its nature-based attractions, seen to be the new destination preference going forward, global online travel agency Trip.com Group stated. The pandemic has severely battered tourism in Indonesia. Foreign tourist visits to Indonesia have plunged 87.44% year-on-year to 160,000 visitors in April, the lowest in recent history.
China's biggest online travel agency Trip.com Group, for the first time in three years, is going to sell package tours to South Korea in a one-off event. The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) said it has partnered with Trip.com Group to promote tourism products in South Korea.
James Liang, chairman of the Trip.com Group, will personally appear on an upcoming live streaming show to promote the products. Purchases will be available on WeChat messengers and Trip.com Group's own platform.
Major Chinese hotel chain Huazhu Group said it recorded a 15.7% drop in net revenue in the first quarter this year. Excluding its German subsidiary Deutsche Hospitality, net revenue declined by 46%. Huazhu expects net revenues to decline 32% to 34% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020, or 35% to 37% if excluding the addition of Deutsche Hospitality.
Global passenger demand (RPKs) dropped 91.3% in May this year compared to May 2019, according to the latest data provided by the International Air Transport Association. Still, this was a mild uptick from the 94% year-on-year decline recorded in April 2020. IATA said the improvement was driven by the recovery in some domestic markets, most notably China. China’s carriers posted a 49.9% year-on-year decline in traffic in May, significantly improved from the 64.6% demand drop recorded in April.
The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) together with the Embassy of the Republic of Seychelles in Beijing worked alongside Chinese travel website Mafengwo.com to launch Seychelles’ first live streaming project on June 25. The 72 minutes live streaming project is worth advertising value of RMB 3.36 million (USD 474,768) for the destination, generated over 39,000 clicks and interactions and 138,000 viewers at Mafengwo.
The British Museum hosted a two-hour live streaming program on Alibaba's travel platform Fliggy recently and reportedly attracted 370,000 viewers during the time. In May, Fliggy partnered with tourism boards across Finland, France, Germany, Serbia, and the United Kingdom and ran a five-day live stream campaign that included a wildly successful tour of the Palace of Versailles (the Weibo video has more than one million views).
China Eastern Airlines announced on June 30 that it will stop selling the “weekend-unlimited” flight passes, as the product had been very popular and sold out since its release. The company said it would ensure after-sale service for the existing pass holders. The Shanghai-based carrier launched the “weekend-unlimited” flight passes on June 18, at a price of (USD 470) for unlimited flights on any Saturday and Sunday in 2020 flying on China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines. As of June 24, more than 100,000 tickets had been redeemed.