Australia loses title as ‘most coveted’ destination for Chinese students
>> Australia is losing its long-held position as a hub for international students thanks to the closed border and our worsening ties with China, new research has revealed. A study from global education provider Navitas said Chinese students had been turned off Australia by its hard border stance, safety concerns and worsening diplomatic and trade ties with their mother country.
Hong Kong chief defends u-turn on mainland travel restrictions
>> Hong Kong has defended its decision to make a u-turn on travel restrictions for mainland returnees to the city by adopting Beijing’s classification of coronavirus risk levels for its travel scheme. Chief Executive Carrie Lam defended her administration’s decision on Tuesday, saying that the government’s initial decision to impose restrictions on the whole province was “not very proportionate”. The government is in talks with cruise providers to introduce high-seas cruises on which passengers and crew members must be vaccinated.
Macau officials concerned by low vaccination rate as new Covid case confirmed
>> The Macau SAR Government has urged all citizens to get their COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible after revealing that only 13.7% of the population, around 93,000 people, had received their first dose as of Monday. Macau has not recorded a locally acquired case of infection for 421 days now, however it did register its 51st case on Monday.
Huazhu revenues grow 15.6% year-on-year in first quarter
>> Shanghai-based hotel group Huazhu said its net revenues rose 15.6% year-on-year to RMB 2.3 billion (USD 355 million) for the first quarter this year. As of the end of March, it has 6,881 hotels and 662,512 hotel rooms in operation. Net loss for the quarter was narrowed to RMB248 million (USD 38 million) from RMB 2.1 billion for the same quarter in 2020. Huazhu expects net revenues growth to be in the range of 87%-89% year-on-year for the next quarter, or 90%-92% if excluding its German unit DH.
Haikou International Duty Free City set for June 2022 opening
>> The new Haikou International Duty Free City in Hainan province is on schedule for a June 2022 opening, according to China Tourism Group Duty Free (China Tourism Group), the parent company of China Duty Free Group (CDFG) which will run the operation. The development includes duty free and duty paid retail, offices, high-end hotels and entertainment facilities.
Klook gets requests to cancel or postpone staycation, cruise bookings after Covid-19 rules change
>> In the week since the Singapore government put the country on heightened alert to arrest the growing cases of Covid-19 here and quell social interactions and some activities, many would-be vacationers have been scrambling to cancel or postpone their staycation and cruise bookings. Travel booking site Klook said that “tens of thousands of bookings” made through the site have been affected by the new public health measures, which run from May 16 to June 13.
Tencent helps airlines develop digital cabin
>> In a partnership with Tencent, Chinese carrier Xiangpeng Airlines became the first to equip with "smart flight" LAN of digital cabin covering the internet giant's rich video, music, information and other content resources. Passengers can connect to the Cabin LAN to enjoy a multi-entertainment experience in a long journey. Tencent has similar partnership with Urumqi Air.
Cathay Pacific's catering arm takes over as vendor for quarantine camp after food poisoning scandal
>> The catering unit of Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways began serving the city’s largest Covid-19 quarantine centre on Monday, taking over from a previous vendor fired for a food safety blunder that left dozens ill. The in-flight caterer replaced Danny Catering Service, which had its contract terminated for providing tainted food that caused 45 people to fall ill earlier this month.