Hong Kong to ban transit travelers from 150 countries and territories
>> Air passengers from so-called Group A, or designated high-risk countries, are set to be banned from transiting through Hong Kong International Airport, according to people familiar with the matter, another move in the financial hub’s aggressive effort to shield itself from Omicron. The suspension will start on Jan. 15 and run through Feb. 14, though the end date will be subject to review.
Omicron inches closer to Beijing ahead of Winter Olympics
>> Omicron arrived in a port city that borders Beijing and spread inland before Chinese officials detected it, seeding the highly contagious variant on the doorstep of the nation’s capital less than one month before the winter Olympics begin. There have been 21 new locally confirmed Covid infections in the city of Tianjin, after two omicron cases were found on Saturday, leading to closed schools, halted travel and mass testing over the weekend. Nearby province of Henan detected two cases.
Chinese tourism in Portugal yet to recover from record drop in 2020
>> After a record fall in 2020 caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese tourism in Portugal continues to drop, according to the latest statistics. Up to November 2020, the number of nights Chinese visitors spent in Portuguese hotels fell by more than 63%, the Portuguese statistics institute (INE) revealed last week. At the start of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit Portugal, the number of Chinese tourists was near 83% of total overseas visitors, and Chinese tourism in Portugal was on an upward trend.
Macau-Shenzhen ferry services suspended since Sunday
>> Effective from Sunday (January 9), all ferry services between Macau and Shenzhen, in mainland China’s Guangdong province, have been halted until further notice. The suspension was confirmed by the Macau government in a Saturday written announcement. Sailings between Shekou and Hengqin Island in Zhuhai, next to Macau, were also suspended, according to media reports.
Bain & Company study underlines strength of luxury market rebound and China’s rise
>> Bain & Company recently released its 20th annual Luxury Study, which underlines the resurgence in the global luxury market in 2021 after a contraction in 2020. The study also reinforced previous projections that China and Chinese consumers will become the dominant force in global luxury by 2025. Bain & Company said the revived personal luxury goods market has been powered by the dynamism of local consumption, particularly in China and the US, which now form a dual engine for the sector.
China’s snow-related tourism revenues to hit $50 billion
>> China's snow-related sports tourists will reach 300.5 million during the 2021-22 winter season, with snow tourism revenues expected to reach RMB 323.3 billion (USD 50.73 billion), according to a report released by the China Tourism Academy (CTA).
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of China's snow sports tourists, boosted by Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, increased to 254 million, compared with 170 million recorded in 2017, which is likely to bring the country's aim of having 300 million people engaged in winter sports become a reality.
Chinese travelers reveal preferences in data
>> Most Chinese travelers preferred local tours during the recent New Year's Day holiday, according to Chinese tourism website Mafengwo. Data showed during the holiday, about 30% of its users booked accommodations just one day before departure. Young travelers liked to stay in a luxury hotel and wake up naturally the next day to welcome New Year's Day. They showed great interest in the famed luxury hotels in the warm city of Sanya.