China’s travel deficit to widen, AA furthers code-share with China Southern, and more
China’s travel deficit will exceed 100 million trips in five years, American Airlines and China Southern expanded codeshare partnership on additional routes, and Qunar.com registered 30% increase in GMV in 2018.
China's outbound travel will exceed inbound travel by 100 million trips in the next five years, according to a report jointly released by the Center for China and Globalization and Ctrip. The imbalance in outbound and inbound travel in China will aggravate as tourist visa applications are getting easier globally.
China is the third biggest tourist source country for France after the United States and Britain. Chinese arrivals to France topped 1.1 million in 2017, and are expected to climb to 2 million in about five years.
A report from Japan National Tourism Organization shows that China is the biggest tourist source market for Japan in 2018. Chinese travelers made 8.38 million trips to Japan last year (+13.9%), the first time the country had received more than 8 million visitors from a sole market.
The number of Chinese tourists to New York City rose to 1.1 million last year, from 1.04 million in 2017, despite the ongoing trade friction between the two countries. The trend might be dampened as China has recently advised state-run enterprises to avoid making business trips to the U.S. and its allies. The State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission didn’t specify how long the travel rules would apply.
For Europe, the number of Chinese tourists who booked trips to the Scandinavian countries through Ctrip in 2018 soared by 82%. Among the Nordic destinations, Finland was the most visited by Chinese tourists in 2018.
Chinese travelers are making mobile payment widely accepted abroad. Three quarters of supermarkets and convenience stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand now accept Chinese mobile payment. The transaction volume skyrocketed from around USD 5 trillion in 2016 to nearly USD 16 trillion by the first quarter of 2018, according to Analysys data cited in a Hillhouse Capital report. More Chinese tourists used mobile payment than cash while traveling last year.
Airlines and airport
American Airlines and China Southern have extended codeshare arrangements to additional routes beyond the key gateway cities in China and the United States, as well as nine trans-Pacific routes between the two countries. Both airlines will begin offering reciprocal loyalty program benefits for customers, with reciprocal lounge access planned for later in the year.
Beijing Daxing International Airport has started a hectic flight check in preparation for its scheduled inauguration before September 30. The flight check is due to end on March 15. The new airport is expected to handle 45 million passengers annually by 2021 and 72 million by 2025.
Qunar and Ctrip
Qunar.com announced that it registered 30% increase in gross merchandise volume (GMV) in 2018, and flight bookings increased 20% year-on-year. The train ticket business grew by 40% while packaged tours achieved three-digit growth. Qunar aims to take its GMV to RMB 250 billion (around USD 37 billion) in the next three years.
Ctrip has recently announced a partnership with iQIYI, China’s online entertainment service platform. This will enable members who purchase iQIYI Diamond VIP or QIYIGUO year card to enjoy the benefits of Ctrip Prime members, including the use of Ctrip's VIP airport lounges, priority access for purchasing train tickets, discounts on hotel bookings and more.
Short-term rental service provider SpaceBox has won nearly RMB 20 million (USD 2.95 million) in its Series A financing. The company had made available nearly 1,000 rooms for 150,000 core members at the end of 2018.
Ride sharing platform Linghangyuan Technology received millions of yuan in its angel round of financing. It plans to expand services across 30 cities that are popular business travel destinations, and further expand to 60 to 80 cities over the next three years.