China to cut quarantine for overseas travelers from next month
>> China plans to cut quarantine requirements for overseas travelers in January, according to people familiar with the matter, as the country dismantles the last vestiges of its Covid Zero policy.
Officials are considering a “0+3” policy, where the requirement to spend time in a quarantine hotel or isolation facility would be scrapped, and arrivals into the country instead subject to three days of monitoring, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are not public.
Mandarin Oriental moves into the Maldives
>> Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will be operating a new resort on a group of private islands in The Maldives, its first site in the country. The hospitality chain signed a contract with Dubai-based Damac Group’s property development arm Damac Properties for the 34-hectare luxury construction.
Mandarin Oriental Bolidhuffaru Reef is scheduled to open in 2025 and will also be Damac Group’s first foray in the tourist island nation. The Indian Ocean resort will stretch across three private islands on Bolidhuffaru Reef in South Male Atoll. Damac is working with a number of international consultants to ensure sustainability best practices are followed in all stages of the development.
Shanghai carrier to restore, add overseas flights from 2023
>> Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines will restore the operation of all its international flights from 2023, while opening new intercontinental routes to tap into the recovering civil aviation market.
Flights from Shanghai and Nanjing in neighboring Jiangsu Province to popular overseas destinations in Japan and South Korea, such as Tokyo, Nagoya, Sapporo and Jeju will be restored initially, followed by Southeast Asian destinations, including Bangkok, Phuket and Kalibo, the carrier announced on Tuesday.
Austrian Airlines to increase flights to Shanghai
>> Austrian Airlines is to bring forward the start of a second weekly flight between Vienna and Shanghai after Chinese authorities relaxed some of its Covid-19 travel regulations. The Lufthansa Group-owned airline will offer two weekly direct flights to the Chinese commercial hub from 16 January 2023 in a response to “ongoing strong demand” for travel to China.
The additional weekly flights will operate using Boeing 777 aircraft from Vienna on Monday and from Shanghai on Wednesday. Austrian already flies from Vienna on Friday and from Shanghai on Monday.
Panoramic tourist train begins trials in Yunnan
>> The world's first panoramic tourist train customized by CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive in Zhuzhou, Hunan province, recently started no-load trial operations in Lijiang, a tourist city in Yunnan province. The train, dubbed the Mirror of the Sky, will officially begin operating between the ancient city of Lijiang and Yulong Snow Mountain, a famous scenic spot in Yunnan, after three months of trials, authorities said.
It will take only 20 minutes for tourists to arrive in Yulong Snow Mountain from the tourist distribution center in Lijiang's urban area, they said.
November visitor arrivals in Macau dive over 50% year on year
>> Last month saw a year-on-year slump of over 50% in visitor arrivals in Macau, recent data from the Statistics and Census Service shows. In the first 11 months of the year, visitor arrivals fell nearly 23% year-on-year.
According to government statisticians, the city only welcome 366,511 visitors in November, down nearly 37% compared to a month earlier, with the Covid situations in neighbouring regions cited as a reason behind the sharp decline.
Guideline aims to boost camping
>> China recently released a guideline to encourage the orderly development of camping as interest in the activity grows and as more camping equipment becomes available on the market.
Under the guideline, tourism authorities are required to plan camping sites in a more scientific manner with adequate infrastructure and fully equipped facilities. Urban parks are encouraged to open grassland, and unused areas to day campers.
Hotels encourage COVID positive guests to remain in rooms and notify hotel staff
>> Some people in cities like Beijing and Shanghai decided to move to hotels for self-quarantine, in order to prevent their families from getting infected, leading to an unnecessary burden on hotel staff and risks of virus spreading because the hotel guests do not inform hotel staff.
"We hope guests stay inside their rooms if they are confirmed positive and contact hotel staff, telling the truth," a staffer surnamed Jiang of Huazhu Group, a domestic hospitality giant based in Shanghai, told Shanghai Daily.