China, South Korea to revive business travel
>> South Korea says it has agreed with China to start facilitating some business travel between the two Asian neighbors, in Beijing’s first formal bilateral program to ease border controls since the virus outbreak. Starting May 1, South Korean business personnel can travel to seven provinces and three major cities in China — Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing — after passing through health-screening and quarantine procedures.
Shanghai International Resort receives 66 million visitors in four years
>> Shanghai International Resort, a mega tourism resort zone in the city which includes the Shanghai Disney resort, announced that it has so far received 66 million visitors since it opened four years ago. The resort zone posted a total revenue of USD 1.4 billion in 2019, up by 17% from the previous year.
TUI China kicks off curated short-haul holidays
>> TUI China has identified tourist sites close to Beijing and Shanghai with focus on domestic trips like self-drive tours. Guido Brettschneider, CEO at TUI China, said the company is offering shorter stays in locations with great outdoor options and space. TUI China hopes for return of inbound and outbound business in the second half of 2020 and 2021.
Local travel to benefit most in China’s first big Holiday since coronavirus
>> China’s tourists are set to stick close to home and take advantage of discounts as they take time off for the first major holiday since the easing of coronavirus lockdowns. Trip.com estimates about 90 million people will go on holiday for the May Day break, less than half the number who went last year. But hotels and major travel operators said they were optimistic about presale figures, with Marriott International saying many companies were promoting “staycations”.
China’s aviation recovery offers glimmer of positivity
>> China's domestic aviation capacity was down only 33% year-on-year as of April 22, compared to a peak drop of 71% on February 24. From May 3, many Chinese airports will officially enter their summer season, re-introducing hundreds of routes around the country. Low-cost carrier Spring Airlines is allowing passengers at Shanghai, Pudong, and Shijiazhuang airports to pay an extra RMB 100 (USD 14) to block off an empty seat next to them.
Big Three Chinese airlines lose $2B as virus kills travel
>> The big three state-run Chinese airlines reported a slump in earnings in the first quarter as the coronavirus upended travel demand, but there are signs the worst of the crisis is over for them. China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines lost RMB 5.3 billion (USD 750 million) and RMB 3.9 billion, respectively. Air China posted a loss of RMB 4.8 billion. The country’s aviation market is off its lows thanks to a pickup in domestic flights as people returned to work, the recovery has a long way to go as there’s little demand for leisure trips and international traffic has screeched to a halt.
Hong Kong airport brings in cleaning robots and disinfection booth
>> Hong Kong International Airport has provided a glimpse into what international airport procedures might look like once we're traveling again. The busy Asia airport claims it's the first in the world to trial a live operation of CLeanTech, a full-body disinfection booth.
Hong Kong hotels on cliff edge
>> Hong Kong used to draw tens of thousands of tourists every month, but a year of political unrest and the coronavirus crisis are driving some hotels to the brink of financial ruin. The industry posted an overall occupancy rate of 29% in February compared with 91% a year earlier, the Hong Kong Tourism Board said, as visitors to the financial hub plunged 98% for the month.