US Secretary of State asks citizens to exercise increased caution traveling in China.
>> US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo continues with its warnings against China, this time asking the US citizens to exercise increased caution with respect to travel in or to China. Pompeo also said the Trump administration wants to remove untrusted Chinese apps from US app stores operated by Apple and Google. Apparently that includes TikTok.
China adds flights from Japan and South Korea as travel curbs ease
>> China allowed more scheduled passenger flights from Japan and South Korea as the Asian countries gradually ease coronavirus travel curbs. But finding affordable tickets is still difficult for many travelers as average prices are up nearly tenfold amid high demand. There will be 15 passenger flights between China and Japan every week in August, up from 12 a week last month, according to the Japanese embassy in China and airline companies. Weekly flights between China and South Korea are also increasing to 15 in August from nine in July.
Cathay Pacific extends flexible booking policy
>> Cathay Pacific has extended its initiative that allows passengers free and unlimited changes to flights until August 31 this year. As part of the airline’s “Fly Worry Free” initiative, passengers can now make unlimited changes without an extra charge to all new tickets purchased up until the end of August.
BTG Homeinns to open 100 upscale hotels in five years
>> BTG Homeinns plans to have 100 PuYin brand hotels after opening the latest one in the central business district of Shanghai yesterday. The Beijing-based budget hotel chain operator intends to shift into the mid- to high-end segment in the coming three to five years. BTG Homeinns’ occupancy rate is picking up rapidly as domestic tourism revives and business travel rebounds. RevPAR has been restored to between 75% and 80% of the level before the virus outbreak.
Hong Kong tourism in distress: retail and hotel bosses try to go digital
>> Digital mall business HKTVmall boomed as stay-at-home Hongkongers switched to buying more online. It's is a rare bright spot in Hong Kong’s ravaged tourism, retail, and food and drink scene. From tour agencies to hotels, shops and restaurants, 2020 is proving a struggle to reinvent their businesses, go online or risk going bust. Hong Kong's visitor arrivals slumped by 90% to just 3.5 million in the first half of 2020.
Regional airlines announce new Chinese travel measures
>> Major regional airlines that operate out of Thailand will force all travelers to and from China to show negative “nucleic acid tests for COVID-19” within five days of boarding flights starting on Aug 10. Cambodia is also looking at ways to increase the ease of travel between major destinations including China, and ensuring the safe and effective health measures are enforced to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.