Meituan-backed delivery robot provider Pudu secures $78 million
>> Pudu Robotics, a Chinese developer of delivery robots backed by big names like Meituan and Sequoia Capital China, has raised RMB 500 million (USD 78 million) in its Series C financing round. Pudu features technologies like low-speed autonomous driving, robotics motors and motion control for its product portfolio of delivery and disinfection robots. They can be used in restaurants, hospitals, hotels, schools, office buildings, government premises, Internet cafes, KTV, airports, and metro stations. Some of its major clients are Haidilao, Xiabuxiabu, JD.com, Country Garden, InterContinental Hotels and Sheraton Hotels.
Number of full-time travel bloggers in China exceeds 100,000
>> Thanks to the boom in “we media” platforms, there are currently more than 100,000 full-time travel bloggers in China, a dramatic increase from less than 1,000 in 2016, according to state news media People's Daily. The number of travel bloggers on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, in November 2020 saw a six-fold increase from January in the same year, while the number of followers per live-streaming session also increased by 528 percent, according to a white paper released by peopletrip.cn, a tourism news website under People's Daily.
Top e-travel agencies in China fully back on track
>> Trip.com Group, China's largest online travel agency, reported higher-than-expected financial performance for the first quarter, and the strong results indicate resilient recovery of China's domestic tourism market. Compared with the first quarter of 2019 before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, both domestic hotel and air ticketing reservations have fully recovered since early March and achieved double-digit growth. Meanwhile, online travel platform Tongcheng-Elong said its first-quarter revenue hit 1.61 billion yuan, up 60.6 percent on a yearly basis.
Shanghai Disneyland sees rising revisit numbers, boosted by recovering tourism
>> China's booming tourism is bringing vigor to the Shanghai Disneyland, which saw increases in revisit numbers, offshore visitors and parade attendees in recent years, a report compiled by China Tourism Academy said. Consumption in the Shanghai Disneyland has lifted Shanghai's GDP by 0.21%, while contributing to the city's annual tourism income by 4.09% from June 2016 to June 2019, the report showed. The number of visitors who watched Shanghai Disneyland's theme parade had risen by 20% from 2018 to 2021.
Hong Kong Tourism Board prepares for reopening
>> The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has held its annual tourism update where it announced its latest campaigns to help promote the city in a post pandemic world. Dane Cheng, HKTB executive director, told travel industry representatives that the body was preparing to launch a new round of the Hong Kong Neighbourhoods campaign.
Thailand, Malaysia continue to experience record high Covid cases while Singapore-Australia travel bubble still considered
>> Travel marketing platform Sojern has released a report on weekly travel trends for APAC markets. Japan's entry bans remain in place on 152 countries including most of Asia. Singapore and Taiwan experienced a spike in Covid cases. So both countries have reinstated some lockdown measures. Hong Kong is setting stricter rules for travelers from Taiwan (21 day quarantine).
Fosun unit sets up firm to invest in airline
>> Shanghai Yuyuan Tourist Mart Group, one of China's leading retailing companies, will set up a firm along with affiliates and strategic investors to invest in airline companies, it said on Wednesday. Shanghai Yuyuan is controlled by a unit of Fosun International, a Chinese conglomerate with businesses in financial, property, healthcare industries. Yuyuan's announcement came as the bankrupt HNA Group is looking for private capital to avoid liquidation. HNA Group's flagship business is Hainan Airlines, China's fourth-largest airline.