Virus-hit Guangzhou suspends entertainment venues, dine-in meals and markets in key areas
>> Southern Chinese city Guangzhou suspended cinemas, theatres, KTVs, internet cafes and other entertainment venues amid rising infections with 10 new locally transmitted cases and four confirmed cases turning from asymptomatic cases. Guangdong Province registered ten new locally transmitted cases, all in Guangzhou, according to the latest update from the provincial health commission.
Upcoming holiday to see travel surge
>> Domestic tourism market is likely to see 100 million travel visits for the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival (June 12-14), China's major online travel agency Trip.com Group said. As of June 2, bookings via the online agency grew by 135% over the same period of last year. Perhaps due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, more than 60% of travelers plan to tour in their own province.
Chinese hotels are introducing role-playing detective games to attract young customers
>> More and more hotels in China are introducing role-playing detective games to attract more young customers. Originating from western countries, role-playing detective games have been localized in China, adding more and more elements of role play and detective stories. They are gaining popularity among young consumers who are developing affinity with such genre of recreation through board games and promotions in celebrity reality shows. Given the nature of these games, they are more suited for social- or resort-type hotels, but not so much for traditional business hotels and those built in iconic scenic spots.
Hotel & lifestyle brand Atour files for $100 million US IPO, with Trip.com holding 14.8% shares
>> Atour Lifestyle Holdings, an upper midscale hotel chain in China, filed with the SEC to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering. Atour claims it is the largest upper midscale hotel chain in China in terms of room number as of the end of 2020. As of June 8 this year, Trip.com Group holds a 14.8% stake in Atour, according to the SEC filing.
Chinese internet giant Tencent invests in aviation technology startup WeFlyShare
>> Chinese internet giant Tencent has invested in WeFlyShare Aviation Technology (Hainan), an inflight Wi-Fi service startup backed by debt-ridden conglomerate HNA Group. According to company information platform Tianyancha, WeFlyShare was founded in May 2020 with RMB 1 million (USD 160,000) in registered capital. Its business operations include internet and information security software development and IT system integration services.
Hospitality customer experience firm Vocust raises nearly RMB 100 million in A round
>> Vocust, a Shanghai-headquartered hospitality customer experience solutions provider founded by a former Trip.com executive, announced its A round funding of nearly RMB 100 million (USD 15.7 million), the third financing round since the company’s inauguration in 2019. The company was invested by big-name players like Tencent and Sequoia Capital in its previous round, according to enterprise data platform Qichacha.com.
Cathay Pacific given extension to draw down $1 billion government loan
>> Cathay Pacific Airways said on Tuesday that the Hong Kong government had agreed to extend the drawdown period for a HKD 7.8 billion (USD 1.01 billion) loan facility by a year to June 2022, giving it more flexibility to manage liquidity. The bridge loan was part of a USD 5 billion rescue package led by the Hong Kong government and Cathay's major shareholders Swire Pacific and Air China last year.
Hong Kong Airlines to slash hundreds of jobs, focus on cargo in bid to survive pandemic
>> Hong Kong Airlines is preparing to cut hundreds of more jobs and temporarily carry only cargo on its passenger planes under its latest pandemic survival plan. Once positioned to challenge Cathay Pacific, the airline has long been in the grips of a cash crisis that has engulfed both the company and its controlling shareholder, the now-bankrupt mainland China conglomerate HNA Group.
Ying Hai announces possible acquisition of a Zhuhai travel company
>> Ying Hai Group Holdings announced that it will acquire Zhuhai Huanya International Tourism. Huanya entered into a legally binding MOU at a consideration of RMB 800,000 (HKD 976,000). After the completion of the possible acquisition, the financial results of Huanya will be consolidated into the financial results of the Group and therefore, Huanya will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ying Hai Group.
Korea eyes travel bubbles with Taiwan, Singapore, Guam
>> South Korea said on Wednesday it will accelerate travel bubble talks with the likes of Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand to allow quarantine-free package tours for those who are fully vaccinated from as early as July. With the country hoping to reach herd immunity by November, travel bubbles are part of efforts to start bringing things back to normal.