>> Hong Kong’s aviation sector will recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024, three years sooner than previously anticipated, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Tuesday (Jul 4). “The situation is looking bright for Hong Kong,” IATA director general Willie Walsh said in a statement. “China’s earlier than expected reopening is providing a much-needed boost to the passenger recovery.”
>> A total of 309 private cars from Hong Kong entered the city of Zhuhai in Guangdong province via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge from Saturday to 8 pm on Sunday — the first two days of a new travel scheme for vehicles from the special administrative region, according to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government.
The "Northbound Travel for Hong Kong Vehicles" scheme, which allows private car owners from the SAR to drive to Guangdong via the bridge without having to apply for a Chinese mainland private vehicle registration plate, was hailed by car owners and Hong Kong's transportation chief as "convenient and efficient, taking integration of the Greater Bay Area to a higher level".
>> Wuhan Tianhe International Airport is resuming international flights on a large scale as the global aviation market continues to recover. The China Southern Airlines flight route linking Wuhan and Dubai resumed on Thursday. The airline will also resume direct flights from Wuhan to London in August. China Eastern Airlines' air service between Wuhan and Sydney will resume on July 16. It is expected that by August this year, the international and regional passenger routes starting from Wuhan will reach 12, said the airport.
>> Shanghai has launched its 2023 Summer Consumer Season, taking over from the Double Five Shopping Festival. The campaign, which officially kicked off on June 30 and will run until the end of August, is expected to help to stimulate consumption and promote the city's image as a tourist destination, according to the city's commission of commerce.
>> Macau has had a daily average of “over 70,000” visitor arrivals so far June, which was “satisfactory” for a traditionally low-season period, said Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes. Macau had an aggregate of nearly 9.44 million visitor arrivals for the first five months of this year, of which just above 6 million – or 64.6%– were from China’s mainland, according to data from Statistics and Census Service.
>> With the summer holiday beginning, China's tourism market continues to boom. Data from online service platforms Meituan and Dianping show that the searching number for graduation tours surged 1139% year-on-year in recent week. The sales of "study tour" products have quadrupled from June's. By the end of June 23, the booking number for some indoor venues' tickets including museums and aquariums jumped 324% and 412% month-on-month, respectively.
>> A regional survey by Marriott International has coined a term to describe a new generation of travelers set to disrupt the industry over the next few years. ‘Native Explorers’ recognizes a tribe of affluent millennial and Gen Z travelers in Asia Pacific who are bucking the trend by traveling in reverse order to generations before them.
Native Explorers rank Japan (52%), South Korea (42%), and New Zealand (39%) as their top three travel destinations. They are also seeking out the new in familiar hotspots such as Australia (39%) and Thailand (32%) through a culture-centric lens.
>> A survey targeting China's summer tourism industry revealed by online travel platform Trip.com showed that cross-border tourism is highly popular during 2023 summer. At present, the outbound flight capacity has reached more than 50% of the level before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the search volume for cross-border flight tickets has exceeded the volume in 2019, the survey shows.