Fosun Tourism raises $988M through asset-backed securities
>> Fosun Tourism announced its board of directors approved an asset-backed securities program and the program was established as of March 20. The company has raised RMB 7 billion (USD 988 million) through the program.
The company said around RMB 2.9 billion of the proceeds will be used to repay the outstanding bank loans of Sanya Atlantis, and the remaining proceeds is for the business development of Fosun Tourism.
Fosun-invested Cirque du Soleil axes 95% of workforce
>> Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, the world's largest contemporary circus producer, has laid off almost all of its workforce except the support team, as social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic forced it to cancel shows. The job cuts would impact 95% of its workforce or over 4,500 people, as all 44 of its shows worldwide have been closed, the Montreal-based circus company said.
Chinese conglomerate Fosun International, parent of the Fosun Tourism Group, acquired a 25% stake in Cirque du Soleil in 2015. In its recent annual report for 2019, Fosun Tourism said it sees more opportunities in mergers and acquisitions as the travel industry undergoes a round of reshuffle amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Chinese visitors to Japan plunge 87.9% in Feb
>> The number of foreign visitors to Japan plunged 58.3% in February, the largest on-year drop for any month in nearly nine years, dented by travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
An estimated 1.09 million foreigners visited Japan last month, down from 2.60 million a year earlier, after China banned all outbound group travel in late January. According to the data from the Japan Tourism Agency, tourists from China dropped 87.9% from a year earlier to 87,200 visitors in February.
Chinese tourists to return to Thailand in April
>> Chinese tourists are expected to resume their travels to Thailand in April as the coronavirus infections subside, and the Thai tourism officials aim to apply a safety and health administration program to help operators upgrade their ability to deal with the pandemic.
Outbound tour operators in China have informed partners in Thailand that two provinces, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, have lifted travel restrictions but citizens are likely to venture out within their own provinces first.
International flights into Beijing to be redirected
>> All international flights into Beijing will be rerouted to one of 12 cities prior to landing in the capital, starting from 00:00 of March 23 Beijing Time, the Civil Aviation Administration of China announced.
This is a move that was rumored to be happening several days ago, and on March 20 four flights were announced as trial cases.
State-owned tabloid Global Times said the plan came as Beijing recorded the largest number of imported confirmed cases, accounting for 34% of the nationwide total.
Coronavirus grounds once-highflying pilot jobs in China
>> Airline pilots once flocked to China, enticed by some of the highest salaries in the business. Now, the dream looks over for hundreds of foreign pilots as airlines in China and beyond reel from the massive disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
While flight disruptions around the world are hitting pilots globally, the problems are especially acute for foreign pilots in China, many of whom are contractors without union protection.
Forward air bookings in China show dramatic rebound
>> China is seeing a significant increase in forward bookings for domestic air travel, according to research by online travel agency Tongcheng-Elong and airline data provider Variflight.
Weekly bookings made during the February 27 to March 5 week for April flights rose by 77%, while bookings for June flights have jumped 250%, comparing with the previous week.
The number of take-offs topped 7,932 in the first week of March, up 51.5% compared with the week of February 10. The nation-wide flight take-off rate has also been steadily increasing to about 50% in the first week of March.
China to see a surge in domestic travel
>> Qunar and Ctrip, two of China’s biggest online travel service providers, have resumed bookings for travel packages and attraction tickets after a two-month hiatus as the country recorded its lowest number of deaths since the outbreak and no new infections for the second day in a row.
For full year 2020, Analysys is forecasting that the proportion of domestic tourism in the country’s overall holiday travel market will increase to 60% from 47% last year, with that number dependent on how long international travel restrictions remain in place.
Hainan unveils ambitious $21M tourism rejuvenation plan
>> Hainan’s provincial government announced an RMB 150 million (USD 21.2 million) rejuvenation plan for the island’s beleaguered tourism industry with duty-free shopping at the heart of its plans.
The Hainan market has a quota of RMB 30,000 (USD 4,230) per person per year but so far the average transaction is around RMB 5,000 (USD 705), according to Charles Chen, President of China Duty Free Group (CDFG).
Shiji's China transactions index shows signs of recovery
>> The China Payments Transactions Index by Shiji has shown that the retail industry is recovering. As of 19 March revenue has reached 39% of the prior pre-crisis daily average. Number of transactions are at 34%. Recovery is slowly accelerating with 12.3 points in last 10 days vs. 3.3 points the 10 days before.