Hong Kong presents recovery plan
>> The Hong Kong Tourism Board held its annual Tourism Update event online last week and announced a revival plan to make the city a top-of-mind destination for worldwide travellers when travel resumes. When social distancing measures are further relaxed, the HKTB will arrange more world-class events in phases, including the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival and Hong Kong WinterFest.
Car rental startup Maple Leaf completes pre-Series A funding round
>> Car rental startup Maple Leaf has completed its pre-Series A round of funding worth tens of millions of yuan, led by New Margin Ventures, followed by Daohe Investment and other state-backed investors. The existing shareholder Junying Investment also participated in the deal. Maple Leaf Car Rental has extended its services to more than 30 major cities and operated over 1,200 outlets.
Sky's the limit for carriers, livestreaming amid COVID doldrums
>> More Chinese commercial airlines are increasingly holding livestreaming sessions to sell cosmetics and skincare products to make additional income and hedge against declining passenger numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More Chinese commercial airlines are increasingly holding livestreaming sessions to sell cosmetics and skincare products to make additional income and hedge against declining passenger numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thailand sees mixed returns from China’s pandemic slowdown
>> As long as China continues to pursue its zero-Covid policy, with lockdowns and onerous quarantine requirements for its own citizens when they return from abroad, the chances of Thailand seeing a speedy economic recovery to pre-pandemic levels remain slim, economists say. In 2019, Thailand attracted 39.8 million foreign tourists. They spent an estimated 2 trillion baht (USD 58 billion), accounting for 12% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) that year. Of that total number of visitors, nearly a third - or about 11 million - were from China.
Omicron surge prompts Macau visitor slump in March
>> Multiple COVID-19 outbreaks on the mainland and related travel restrictions prompted a 30.2% year-on-year slump in March visitor arrivals to the travel retail hotspot of Macau, according to the Macao Government Tourism Office. Due to ongoing strict travel restrictions into Macau, almost all the arrivals (89%) were from mainland China. Visitor numbers from the mainland decreased by 31.9% year-on-year to 468,995. The number of hotel guests in March fell 41.3% year-on-year to 365,000 with mainland guests (269,000) down by 50.2%, The Macau Daily Times reported.
Travel startup KKday sees staff shortage in Asia's tourism revival
>> In a recent interview in Tokyo, KKday founder and CEO Ming Chen said he expects Asia's biggest tourist destinations to accept visitors by summer as they follow the U.S. and Europe in lifting COVID-19 quarantine and testing requirements. Tourists are still currently barred from places such as Japan and Taiwan.
China to permit 'some' Indian students to return
>> China announced last Friday plans to permit the return of “some" Indian students stranded in India for over two years following the visa and flight restrictions imposed by Beijing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As per earlier reports, over 23,000 Indian students, mostly studying medicine in Chinese colleges, are stuck in India after returning home as the coronavirus broke out in China in December 2019.
China’s local brands open more upscale hotels than global brands in Q1 2022
>> Upscale hotels were opening at a slower pace, with 43.6% fewer newly opened hotels in China in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter, due to the sporadic outbreaks of Covid-19 and tightened restriction measures, according to a report released by research firm Meadin Academy. The upside, though, is that domestic hotel brands were outpacing international brands in launching new upscale properties.