Trip.com Group invests in airport service app iSkytrip
>> ChinaTravelNews learned that Trip.com Group has invested to build airport-based intelligent travel service platform iSkytrip with the operator of Shanghai's Pudong and Hongqiao airports. The iSkytrip app offers airport information directory, fast parking payment, fast security check, VIP lounge, merchant coupons, airport pick-up and drop-off chauffeur and other services.
This is not the first time that the Chinese OTA has expanded into airport-related services. Last December, it invested in DragonPass, a Chinese company operating high-end business lounges at airports and high-speed railway stations, reportedly with tens of millions of US dollars.
Social e-commerce giant adds flight booking service
>> Pinduoduo, a Chinese social e-commerce firm listed on NASDAQ, is digging deeper into the tourism industry by introducing its own air ticketing business. Last September, Pinduoduo invited travel merchants to use its platform to sell itinerary services, tourist attraction tickets and short-haul tours, as well as accommodation deals from hotels, guest houses and inns. In December, Pinduoduo launched a railway ticketing service.
Internet portals that built enormous traffic have been dipping their toes into tourism in recent years. They leverage huge user base and diverse portfolio of offerings to improve user experience and monetize their traffic. But according to some merchants that partnered with Pinduoduo, the conversion rates are low.
Marriott opens all hotels in China
>> Marriott International has reopened all its hotels in China and is seeing a steady recovery in the United States, its biggest market, CEO Arne Sorenson said on Monday. The occupancy rate in China was 40% recently, up from 7% to 8% in February. But he warned that it could take Marriott a few years to get back to levels of occupancy seen in 2019, when its global occupancy rate was 71%.
Pandemic spurs adaptation, upgrades for Chinese hotels
>> Huazhu Group, one of China's biggest multi-brand hotel chains, announced that it is taking a technology-savvy approach to the accommodation experience of guests at about 2,000 of its hotels amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Huazhu said its expansion target of more than 10,000 new hotels in 1,000 cities in the next three to five years will not change.
Seven hotels in Shanghai, Hong Kong may delay scheduled opening
>> At least seven hotels in Shanghai and Hong Kong are expected to delay their scheduled opening dates this year due to the collapse in tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by property consultancy Knight Frank. The hotels in the two cities represent 2,246 rooms. The casualty list could grow even longer.
EU chamber urges Beijing to cut subsidies to inefficient airlines
>> The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China has called on China to bring its aviation industry more in line with international standards as it grows to become one of the biggest in the world. In the report released on Tuesday, the chamber urged Beijing to phase out government subsidies for long-haul air routes to and from second- and third-tier Chinese cities.
Flying to China still a challenge as restrictions extended
>> Major Chinese airlines unveiled June flight schedules showing little increase in international service. Carriers including China Southern, China Eastern, XiamenAir and Juneyao Airlines largely carried over their May schedules for June. Air China, the flagship carrier, plans to add only two international routes linking Beijing with Madrid and Manila in June.
Cirque du Soleil performs first rehearsal since COVID-19 in China
>> Cirque du Soleil performed their first dress rehearsal on May 31 in China as the Canadian circus troupe prepares to return to the stage this week for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The company held a debt of around USD 900 million but it recently secured a loan of USD 200 million from the Quebec government which mulled taking over the company.