IHG: Covid-19 drives more independent hotels to join chains
>> Although the hotel industry is on the rebound, independent hotels that are primarily reliant on OTAs and walk-in guests still find it hard to boost revenues. Jolyon Bulley, the CEO of IHG's Greater China region, observed that the integration of quality local independent hotels into chain brands has accelerated during Covid-19. While hotel revenues are recovering gradually, the midscale hotels market is saturated in first-tier cities, prompting a move into the markets in lower-tier cities.
Airbnb’s battle against local unicorns resumes as China’s market recovers
>> As China’s economy opens ahead of other nations, the nation’s homestay market has begun to recover from significant upheaval. Platforms including Airbnb, Tujia and Xiaozhu are rapidly deploying new strategies in attempts to ease the crisis caused by the pandemic. Airbnb has been aggressively offering coupons to both guests and hosts, to re-engage its users and try to rebuild consumer confidence. The company has also signed agreements with local government tourism bureaus from Zhejiang province and Guilin city to try and recoup some lost business.
Japan looks to reopen business travel with 10 more Asian economies
>> Japan intends to begin talks in mid-July on resuming business flights with 10 more economies including mainland China, South Korea and Taiwan, a move that will be backed by a sharp increase in coronavirus testing capacity.
Korean airlines start flying to Chinese destinations again
>> Airlines from South Korea are resuming flights to China as Beijing eases regulations on travel restrictions that followed the Covid-19 outbreak. Budget carrier Air Busan said it will resume flying to Shenzhen, a coastal city in the south of China's Guangdong Province, starting July 17. It is the first overseas route to come back since the airline shut down its overseas operations on March 9. Asiana Airlines is resuming flights to Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, starting Sunday.
American Airlines, United suspend Hong Kong flights again on testing concerns
>> American Airlines and United Airlines have both suspended flights to Hong Kong again on concerns over a new coronavirus testing regime in the Chinese special administrative region. The service suspensions are emblematic of the operational challenges airlines face flying international routes amid varying border restrictions. Even where there are travelers who want to fly, carriers face a complex series of rules for their crewmembers who need to work flights.
Chinese airline offers 100 Mbps satellite internet for the first time
>> Passengers on a Qingdao Airlines flight from Qingdao to Chengdu on Tuesday became the first in China to use high-speed internet from a Ka-band satellite. The internet connection used a satellite launched in 2017 by state-owned China Satellite Communications, or China Satcom. The company said passengers could get speeds higher than 100 Mbps on the flight.
Luxury travel, promotions and strong OTAs to lead Chinese outbound recovery
>> Luxury tourism players are expected to be the first to see a revival of Chinese outbound travelers who will also be drawn to safe and secure hotels as well as attractive travel discounts and promotions, opined an expert in Chinese hospitality marketing. Anita Chan, CEO of CompassEdge, noted that a McKinsey & Company study on Chinese consumer sentiment between April 9 and May 24 had found much stronger confidence in economic recovery compared to respondents elsewhere in the world.
China's live-shopping boom lures corporate bigwigs onto the screen
>> James Liang, the executive chairman of Trip.com Group, is among the pioneers to discover success in tapping into the growing Chinese fad of "live commerce," or live streaming product promotion. The first 14 videos put out by Liang drew a total of 33 million viewers and generated a gross merchandise volume of RMB 600 million (USD 85.2 million), according to a Nikkei report.