Booking Holdings offloads $106M Trip.com shares
>> Booking Holdings reported on April 7 that it sold 4,500,000 ADSs of Trip.com Group through an affiliated firm at USD 23.45 per ADS in the open market from March 23 to April 3, 2020. The total value of the transaction was more than USD 105.5 million. The world's largest online travel group now holds a 4.93% stake in its major Chinese counterpart, over 3 percentage points lower than its previous shareholding of around 8% of Trip.com Group as of February 28, 2019.
United Airlines may soon resume China flights
>> United Airlines is considering resuming limited passenger service to Shanghai as China begins to recover from the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Star Alliance carrier is “looking at the possibility” of resuming once-weekly service to Shanghai Pudong, senior vice president of flight operations Bryan Quigley told pilots in a memo on April 4. The airline suspended all service to Shanghai in early February as the COVID-19 outbreak spread. Prior to the coronavirus, United was the largest US carrier to China. The airline offered up to 10 daily flights to the country.
430,000 people have traveled from China to US since coronavirus
>> At least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China since Chinese officials disclosed the coronavirus outbreak late in January, according to the New York Times. About 60% of travelers on direct flights from China in February were not American citizens, according to the most recently available government data. Most of the flights were operated by Chinese airlines after American carriers halted theirs.
Trip.com Group scores big with livestreaming sales event
>> Trip.com Group chairman James Liang wore a traditional Chinese gown during an online broadcast that helped China’s largest travel platform generate transactions valued at RMB 26.9 million (USD 3.84 million) within an hour. Liang’s livestreaming appearance attracted 1.15 million viewers and specifically promoted discounted tour products in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province.
Hainan Airlines faces tight liquidity
>> Hainan Airlines faces uncertainty in paying principal and interest for short-term commercial paper due April 17 due to tight liquidity, according to the Shanghai Clearing House. The company faces very tight liquidity due to slump in revenue after coronavirus outbreak.
Hong Kong airport uses robots to disinfect public areas
>> Hong Kong International Airport has deployed several self-driving robots to clean public areas as part of its measures to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. Airport authority in the city said Hong Kong’s airport is the first airport in the world to use the sterilization robots.
>> Hong Kong extended its airport closure to non-residents indefinitely as the number of coronavirus infections surpassed 900. The city extends its ban on arrivals after most cases over the past two weeks have come from overseas.
Accor, Alibaba extend strategic partnership
>> Accor and Alibaba are launching an all-encompassing campaign to celebrate the french hotel group's ALL lifestyle loyalty program through the Fliggy platforms to encourage new members of ALL to discover more experiences.
China’s domestic tourism picks up during festival
>> Multiple tourist attractions in China welcomed massive crowds during the three-day Qingming Festival holiday as the tourism industry picked up. However, experts warned there is a possibility of coronavirus transmission and called for stronger regulation of scenic spots.
Travel bookings for the three-day holiday were up 50% from the weekend before, according to Trip.com, while hotel bookings increased 60%. Fliggy, an online travel service operated by Alibaba Group Holding, said train reservations doubled and hotel bookings rose 30%.
Large numbers of people flocked to popular tourist sites and major cities across China over the country's holiday weekend, despite warnings from health authorities that the risk posed by the coronavirus pandemic remains far from over.
Hainan to build national sports tourism pilot zone
>> Southern Chinese island province Hainan said it plans to a national sports tourism pilot zone to help turn itself into a leading global tourist destination. It said Hainan will introduce diversified international competition sports tourism products and make efforts to build its own brand of competition events that cover yacht sailing, golf, marathon, surfing, beach volleyball, boxing, chess and e-sports events.