Booking CEO: US-China tensions could hurt online travel
>> Travel companies will be more cautious in approaching markets in China due to geopolitical tension. That was the message of Glenn Fogel, Booking Holdings CEO, during an interview with CNBC. Booking Holdings sold part of its stake in China’s Trip.com Group. The stake was valued at the time at about USD 105.5 million, a price that reflected then-depressed market values during the first peak of the pandemic. The conglomerate now holds a 4.93% stake in Trip.com Group, down 3 percentage points from a year earlier.
Trump’s WeChat ban will harm more than tourism
>> President Donald Trump's executive order barring Americans from doing business with Tencent Holdings, maker of the super-app WeChat, will deal a serious blow to the already beleaguered U.S. tourism industry. It could also help undo decades’ worth of progress in establishing person-to-person ties between the two increasingly fractious countries. In 2019, its 2.8 million visitors to the U.S. made up only 3.5% of the international travelers who arrived in the country, but they accounted for 13.4% of the total spending.
Greater Bay Airlines seeks Hong Kong approval to take off
>> A new mainland China-backed carrier has applied to Hong Kong’s civil aviation authority to become the city’s fifth passenger airline, in an attempt to loosen the Cathay Pacific Group’s dominance. Greater Bay Airlines is a rare newcomer in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought international air travel to a standstill, crippling the aviation industry across the world. It could be at least two years before the airline clears all the regulatory red tape to fly, an expert on Hong Kong aviation said.
ITB China announces meetup events in seven cities across China
>> The organizers of ITB China, China’s largest B2B exclusive travel trade show, announced the launch of the ITB China Industry MeetUp, a series of events set to take place in seven major cities in China between September and November 2020. The events are designed to help the industry recover from the economic fallout post-coronavirus, providing unique opportunities for industry professionals to get updated on latest trend insights in key cities and regions across China.
Huazhu Group awaits Hong Kong listing clearance
>> US-listed mainland Chinese hotel chain Huazhu Group is expected to pass the listing hearing of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong this month to raise up to USD 1 billion in a secondary listing, mainland media reported. Huazhu had 5,618 hotels or 536,876 hotel rooms in operation as of the end of last year.
South Korea lowers travel alert for China's Hubei as pandemic eases
>> South Korea lowered the travel alert for the Chinese province of Hubei, the original epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, as the situation there has stabilized and travel demand is growing, the foreign ministry said. The "red" travel warning for Hubei, meaning "advised to leave the area," has been lifted, and the region is now under the special travel advisory applied to the rest of the Chinese territories, the ministry said in a press release.
Etihad Airways reports six passengers positive for COVID-19 on China-bound flight
>> Etihad Airways confirmed that six guests who flew on its flight EY862 from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai on August 3 registered positive in their nucleic acid tests on arrival at Pudong International Airport, as reported by the Shanghai COVID-19 Prevention and Control Office. Furthermore, all six guests had completed mandatory PCR testing, exhibited no symptoms and had provided negative result certificates for COVID-19 upon check-in. The six guests are currently being quarantined at a medical facility in Shanghai as a precaution.
DFS invests in Shenzhen Duty Free, strengthens China presence
>> DFS Group, an Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned travel retail pioneer, announced it has taken a 22% stake in Shenzhen Duty Free Ecommerce, which is majority-owned by Shenzhen Duty Free Group. The two first began to collaborate in 2018, with DFS supplying merchandise and advising on store upgrades across Shenzhen Duty Free’s network. Since Shenzhen shares a land border with Hong Kong, mainland customers can also preorder online before traveling to Hong Kong, and collect them on return to Shenzhen with little hassle.