After two years in deep freeze, travel in Asia is suddenly returning at its fastest pace since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, helped by the easing of border restrictions in popular tourist destinations like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The trend has delivered a shot in the arm to the stock of Trip.com Group, which surged 8.8% last week after the company reported a return to profitability in its latest quarterly results.
Trip.com Group and its global peers are quickly emerging from a long winter, feasting on pent-up travel demand accumulated over more than two years when global travel ground to a virtual halt due to pandemic controls. Now people are dying to get around as part of the classic post-pandemic “revenge spending,” which is expected to bring explosive growth to online travel platforms.
Trip.com Group said outbound bookings from Hong Kong on its platform rose nearly four-fold last week compared with the previous one. Among the top five overseas destinations for Hong Kong flights for the week, the Japanese city Osaka ranked first with bookings up 73-times from a week earlier. Separately, South Korean flagship carrier Korean Air confirmed that its bookings to Japan for October tripled from the previous month. Those figures all point to positive effects that regional re-openings are having on the online tourism industry.
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