>> Online hotel and lifestyle service company Meituan reported that its revenues increased by 26.7% to RMB 58.6 billion (USD 8.3 billion) in the first quarter of 2023. The adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net profit were RMB 6.3 billion (USD 891.5 million) and RMB 5.5 billion (USD 778.3 million) for this quarter respectively, reaching the company’s highest level. Room nights during the Chinese New Year holiday increased by over 40% compared to the same periods of 2022 and 2019.
>> China’s domestic carriers have ramped up efforts to recruit more employees to embrace the comprehensive recovery of the international travel market. Chinese conglomerate HNA Group has resumed more than 60 international and regional routes, and plans to resume more in the next few months, the company said.
Meanwhile, Shanghai-based budget carrier Spring Airlines plans to continuously introduce new aircraft this year to meet the growing travel demand. The company said it plans to recruit 700 flight attendants this year and hopes to attract graduates who are good at foreign languages as it prepares for the recovery of more international flights.
>> Gaming operator Sands China is seeking approval from the Macau government over a plan to build a hotel dedicated to the MICE industry, the company’s president Wilfred Wong Ying Wai said. The company’s plan for an additional hotel was part of a MOP30 billion (US$3.72 billion) commitment pledged in December last year, with MOP27.8 billion of it going towards non-gaming developments.
>> Chinese tourists may start visiting parts of Taiwan again as early as next month after a three-year freeze, according to an opposition lawmaker whose constituency sits on a group of islands off the coast of China’s mainland. Travelers from the southeastern province of Fujian would be allowed to reach the nearby outlying Taiwan-controlled islets of Penghu, Matsu and Quemoy, which is also known as Kinmen, Taiwanese legislator Chen Yu-jen told the Post.
>> Luxury hotel management group Mandarin Oriental is planning to expand its Exclusive Homes portfolio in Europe, Asia, the United States, and the Caribbean. The group wants to grow its portfolio of homes to more than 100 properties within the next five years, with the European expansion extending to winter and summer breaks.
>> Hong Kong’s air passenger clawed back 52% of the 2019 level, hitting 3.1 million in April 2023. But risks such as labor shortages and routes that have yet to resume in full may threaten Hong Kong International Airport’s near-term plans to recapture its top international air hub role. Fitch Ratings expects growth momentum will spill over in the medium term yet the full recovery will take time, with traffic coming back to 2019 levels only by end-2024.
>> Hong Kong's MTR Corporation announced on Wednesday that the patronage of cross-boundary railway services recovered to 70% of the pre-pandemic level, and the patronage of local railway services has returned to around 90% before the COVID-19 pandemic.
>> Hong Kong and Guangdong are deepening cooperation to further integrate the economies of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), with the two jurisdictions unveiling a week of events and business activities to achieve high-quality growth in the post-pandemic era. The city’s leader John Lee Ka-chiu said he will undertake more visits and hold discussions with Guangdong officials as normality has returned following the border reopening with the mainland after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.