Trip.com Group CEO Ms. Jane Sun has been elected to the Board of Directors of Tripadvisor, serving as the designee of Trip.com Group. This indicates that the Chinese OTA giant's plan to invest in Tripadvisor has been approved by US regulator CFIUS.
Last year, the two companies agreed in a deal to form Tripadvisor China, a joint venture focusing on the China market. According to the agreement, Trip.com Group will have a nomination right for one TripAdvisor board seat commencing upon approval of the transaction by The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The Chinese online travel group now owns a 5.2% stake in Tripadvisor for USD 153.9 million.
Trip.com Group said that it proposes to offer up to USD 500 million of exchangeable senior notes due 2027 in offshore transactions outside the United States to non-U.S. persons. Upon exchange, the company will pay or deliver to such exchanging holders, cash, ADS shares of Huazhu Group, or a combination of cash and Huazhu ADSs.
Skyscanner, a travel metasearch engine owned by China’s Trip.com Group, is preparing to cut as much as a fifth of its workforce and close several offices after revenues collapsed following the Covid-19 lockdown. Some 300 of the UK-based company's total 1,500 employees will leave as a result of layoffs. But Skyscanner is also creating 60 new jobs as part of its restructuring.
Alibaba's online travel unit Fliggy launched the Fliggy “Fly At Will” product that offers consumers airline service nationwide including the Greater China area of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan in attractive deals. For a domestic flight ticket with a full price of no more than RMB 500 (USD 72), a successful bidder for the Fliggy offering can make a reservation for just RMB 66 (USD 9.4).
China’s home-sharing platform Xiaozhu has formed a strategic partnership with Xiaohongshu, a popular lifestyle sharing network for young people. Through the deal, Xiaozhu is connected to the social network portal to provide direct home-sharing booking service. In the future, Xiaozhu will provide services to other home-sharing brands on Xiaohongshu, such as management systems, content and live-streaming campaigns.
Major Chinese e-commerce company JD.com has invested in the digital lifestyle unit of state-controlled Beijing Tourism Group to expand in the travel industry. This is not the first that JD.com has invested in travel. In 2015, the company splashed out USD 350 million to back Tuniu.com, only to offload the Tuniu stake in June this year in a fire sale for just USD 65 million.
Disney parks chief Josh D’Amaro said they have been “pretty pleased” overall with Shanghai Disneyland which reopened on May 11 and has been running at 30% capacity, and they are now increasing capacity for the park. While Shanghai Disneyland is beginning to increase the capacity level, Hong Kong Disneyland had to close down its park once again due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
The US is reportedly considering imposing travel restrictions on Chinese Communist party members amid a deepening row, with president Donald Trump saying further sanctions were possible and Beijing vowing retaliation. The proposed US travel ban could apply to as many as 92 million party members.
Seven flight routes will be reopened between South Korea and China this month as the two governments agreed to double the weekly services to 20 times. The resumption is expected to help meet the rising demand for travel between the two countries.
The number of mainland-Chinese tourist arrivals in South Korea plummeted 99% to just 5,124 in May, according to the latest data from the Korea Tourism Organization. By comparison, the Chinese travelers made 500,413 trips to South Korea in May 2019. South Korea received a total of 30,861 inbound visitors in May and Chinese tourists accounted for 16.6% of them.
China announced on July 14 that tour operators and online travel agencies are now permitted to restart inter-provincial group tours and "flight + hotel" business. But group tours and "flight + hotel" business are still prohibited in mid- and high-risk areas of the country. Cross-border group trips including inbound and outbound travel are also prohibited for the moment.
Huazhu Group reported a 38% drop in RevPAR for the second quarter this year, while its occupancy rate declined by 18 percentage points during the time. That's an improvement as Huazhu recorded a 58% RevPAR decrease in the first quarter while occupancy rate dropped by 41 percentage points in Q1. Same-hotel RevPAR dropped 40.8% in the second quarter, and 52.8% in the first quarter. Huazhu expects net revenues to decline 32% to 34% in the second quarter, or 35% to 37% if excluding Deutsche Hospitality.
One of the biggest impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the airline industry is that travelers have lost confidence. As an advertisement in an unprecedented period, the strategy of launching unlimited flight passes by Chinese Airlines was a success. But this good business is actually small. The revenue of China Eastern Airlines in 2019 is RMB 120.8 billion (USD 17.2 billion), while 100,000 sets of unlimited pass sold only for RMB 3322 per set, with a revenue of more than RMB 300 million (USD 42 million), counting just a small fraction of the annual income.