China advises against overseas travel
>> China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Chinese nationals from travelling abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic. The authority reminded its citizens that they should fully consider the risk of infection in international travel activities and that many countries have taken stricter border control and quarantine meatures to containment the COVID-19 virus.
Daily air passenger numbers up 7.9% in April
>> China's aviation regulator said daily transported air passenger numbers rose 7.9% this month, as of April 21, from March, but was only at 29% of the level seen a year ago, in a sign of how the sector's recovery remains fragile. Daily flights in China rose only 1% in April to 6,586, amounting to just 42% of daily flights before the coronavirus struck.
Searches for Labor Day holiday travel rise 90% weekly
>> Travel searches have continued to climb for the International Labor Day holiday that runs from May 1 to May 5 in China, with a weekly growth rate of over 90%, according to data from Alibaba Group's Fliggy travel platform and navigation app Amap. Airfares will descend 30% yearly from restrictions on trans-provincial travel during the COVID-19 epidemic during the holiday.
Chinese tourism to decline more than one third due to virus
>> Research from a Beijing think tank estimates the COVID-19 virus will dent China's total tourism income by more than 30% in 2020 from the previous year, with tourist arrivals cut by 20% and a bleak outlook on the coming holidays. The conclusion was announced during an online discussion from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing on Tuesday. Considering the complexity of the pandemic trend, the spread of the virus and its impact on the school resumptions, it is not appropriate to be too optimistic about a tourism rebound during holidays such as the upcoming May holidays, the summer holidays and National Day holidays, said Song Rui, director of the tourism research center under CASS.
Hyatt Hotels occupancy approaches 20% in Greater China
>> Mirroring Marriott's and Hilton's preliminary first-quarter results, Hyatt Hotels expects systemwide March RevPAR to decline 66.6%, according to a recent filing. Systemwide occupancy rates as of April 15 were around 15% for operating hotels. Some 35% of Hyatt's properties globally were closed as of that date. Occupancy levels in Greater China have shown gradual improvements in recent weeks, with April occupancy approaching 20% through April 15 as quarantines and travel restrictions have been lifted. Currently four hotels remain closed in Greater China, compared with 26 during the peak of the crisis in the region in February. The increase in demand is reported to be driven by leisure travel.
Hong Kong recovery strategy could prove a success
>> Hong Kong tourism chief Dane Cheng recently said that tourism will be returning back to normality in July and the city will be focusing on attracting mainland visitors and new markets. China is a dominant source market for Hong Kong, accounting for 77% of arrivals in 2019, according to Amber Barnes, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData. Demand for long-haul travel to Hong Kong will take longer to resume as a lack of consumer confidence will be prevalent when the impact of COVID-19 lessens. ‘Roll out regional’ will be a common theme in the tourism industry and the Hong Kong Tourism Board has recognized this.
Northeastern Chinese city tightens travel restrictions in bid to curb virus
>> A northeastern city of 10 million people, grappling with what is now China’s biggest coronavirus outbreak, further restricted inbound traffic on Wednesday to contain the spread of the highly contagious disease. Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang and its biggest city, has banned entry to residential zones by non-locals and vehicles registered elsewhere, state media said. By Tuesday, Heilongjiang reported 537 local confirmed cases, including 470 discharged from hospital.