COTRI and Ctrip jointly outlined the growing importance of ‘customised’ travel as a third pillar of China’s outbound tourism, which is expected to soon grow to equal the volume of group tours and independent travel. COTRI forecasts that Chinese travelers will make 160 million trips worldwide in 2018 and 390 million outbound trips in 2030. Half of the additional outbound travelers in the next decade will be Chinese.
Full visa liberalization between China and the EU is likely to increase the annual growth of Chinese arrivals from 7% to 18% in 2018-2023, according to a report published by the European Travel Commission. This, in turn, will generate additional inbound spending of €12.5 billion each year and create 237,000 additional jobs, increasing Europe’s GDP by 1%.
Fosun, Wanda & Shangri-La
Fosun Tourism & Culture Group, owner of the Club Med holiday and resort business, has raised $428 million in its Hong Kong initial public offering. It will begin trading on December 14, the prospectus shows.
Property giant Wanda Group unveiled its mid-range hotel brand Wanda Moments on November 30, as it seeks to venture into the mid-range hotel market. After its asset sales in July last year, the company has formed a new Wanda Hotels & Resorts by merging Wanda Hotel Design, Wanda Hotel Construction and Wanda Hotel Management. It plans to introduce six hotels next year and 700 Wanda Moments hotels nationwide in four to five years.
Luxury hotel group Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has announced a global strategic partnership with destination activities booking platform Klook for collaboration in concierge, loyalty redemption and marketing.
Shangri-La also announced a collaboration with Fliggy to extend its membership benefit program to Fliggy members, aiming at attracting new members to its Golden Circle program. All Fliggy members will be eligible for the Gold level of the hotel group’s loyalty program, and Fliggy members who have achieved higher levels of membership based on the accumulation of travel points will be eligible for additional higher-level perks from the hotel group.
China Southern Airlines and American Airlines have strengthened their business and strategic ties by renewing their code-share cooperation agreement and signing a frequent flyer cooperation agreement as well as a memorandum of understanding on lounge access.
Smaller budget airlines like Tianjin Airlines, Spring Airlines and Lucky Air have been actively trying to operate more ancillary services, such as the prebooking of paid food and paid luggage check-in services, to diversify their sources of revenues. State-owned carriers, on the other hand, have been more cautious and only provide prepaid seat selection options for international flights.
Short-haul tours provider “55 km” announced that it had received tens of millions of yuan in its angel round of financing. It started out as a consumer-facing platform designing tours to Southeast Asia, but it has extended to the corporate sector. In June this year, 55 km opened its first flagship store on Fliggy.
Taiwan-based vacation rental platform AsiaYo has raised $7 million led by Alibaba’s non-profit Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund, bringing its total raised capital to $10 million. It has a presence in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand, and expanding to Singapore and Malaysia by early 2019. The company has also revealed plans to launch a Japanese website next year.