IHG sees low-level occupancy improvements in Greater China
>> InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) said its global RevPAR decreased 6% across January and February, with a broadly flat performance in the US offset by declines in Greater China, which saw an almost 90% decline in February. The hotel chain anticipates global RevPAR declines of around 60%, with steeper declines in those markets most impacted by travel restrictions.
In Greater China IHG now has 60 hotels closed, compared to 178 at the peak earlier, and in recent days have begun to see improvements in occupancy, albeit at low levels.
Airbnb considers raising funds or buying assets
>> Airbnb's board considered a wide range of options in response to the current economic crisis, which is weighing heavily on the business. The potential moves include acquiring distressed assets, raising more funding from private investors and revising plans for a stock market debut scheduled for this year, according to a Bloomberg report.
The home-rental startup has been approached by a dozen potential investors including venture capitalists, private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds, with potential deals ranging in size from USD 100 million to USD 1 billion.
Chinese airlines have lost $3.1B this year
>> China may be recovering from the worst of its coronavirus outbreak but the gradual resumption of business and production has not helped domestic airlines make ends meet.
This year, the country’s six listed mainland airlines had lost a combined RMB 22.3 billion (USD 3.14 billion) as of Tuesday, according to analysis by the NUAA-VariFlight Joint Research Centre for Transportation Big Data based on past financial reports. The calculations included Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Spring Airlines, and Juneyao Airlines.
China’s $4.6B overseas study tour market halted
>> International study tours have become very much de rigueur for China’s more affluent families in recent years. But this summer, because of the coronavirus, people will be staying at home.
In 2019, the so-called education tourism market was worth RMB 33 billion yuan (USD 4.6 billion), with about 1.3 million youngsters spending part of their summer holidays studying overseas, according to a report by Beijing-based consultancy Huaon.com.
Chinese authorities lend a helping hand to tourism
>> Shanghai's cultural and tourism authorities are enhancing financial support to help enterprises recover from the coronavirus outbreak with a loan of RMB 10 billion (USD 1.41 billion).
Hainan’s provincial government announced an RMB 150 million (USD 21.2 million) rejuvenation plan for the island’s beleaguered tourism industry with duty-free shopping at the heart of its plans.
Tourism rebound expected in May as epidemic ebbs
>> A survey by China Tourism Academy and Trip.com showed that tourism rebound is expected in May. Some 20% of the respondents said safety measures by travel operators would be the biggest impetus, followed by holiday arrangements (19%) and discounts on tour prices (18%).
According to the survey, 43% of interviewees said they would travel in the first half of this year if the coronavirus is totally under control, with 16% choosing May, followed by June, July, and August (15% each).
Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021
>> Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach have agreed to delay the Tokyo Olympics to the next year. Tokyo 2020’s fate was in effect sealed this week when Canada and Australia said they would not send athletes to Japan in July, while the British and French governments urged the IOC to make a quick decision.
Coronavirus puts 50 million travel jobs at risk
>> The World Travel & Tourism Council says up to 50 million jobs in the travel sector are at risk due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest figures from WTTC, which represents the global travel & tourism private sector, show that global travel could be adversely impacted by up to 25% in 2020. This is the equivalent to a loss of three months of global travel. This could lead to a corresponding reduction in jobs of between 12%-14%.
Booking reduces marketing spend, freezes hiring
>> Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdings, announced that he and his subsidiary brand CEOs will not take salaries so as to help the company save money in face of the coronavirus pandemic. The company is also committed to "dramatically reducing marketing spend worldwide". Its Board of Directors has also voluntarily declined to accept any cash retainer payments during the time.