Chinese e-commerce giant, JD.com is expanding in the travel-retail channel by taking a shareholding in the North Asia business of Paris-based global duty-free operator Lagardère Travel Retail, part of France’s Lagardère Group. JD.com and state-owned fund China Jianyin Investment (JIC) are jointly injecting USD 112 million to take respective shares of 18.6% and 3.7% in the North Asia division.
Tongcheng-Elong, a Chinese online travel company invested by Tencent and Trip.com Group, announced on September 9 that it has put forward a proposed plan to leverage and renew its strategic partnership with shareholder Tencent for the three years from August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2024. As at March 31, 2021, the company’s registered users residing in non-first-tier cities in China accounted for about 86.4% of the total registered users. As of September 6 this year, Tencent held 21.52% of Tongcheng-Elong's shares while Trip.com Group controled a 25.32% stake in Tongcheng-Elong.
European and American online travel giants continue to invest in the Asia Pacific markets despite challenges and risks. Booking.com's APAC chief Laura Houldsworth told ChinaTravelNews that the company is geographically challenged on even intra-region travel in APAC, more so than the comapny is in Europe and the US. But Booking.com said it is best positioned to lead the recovery.
China wants anyone traveling from Portugal to quarantine for three weeks (or 21 days) before they step onto the plane. A statement issued by a number of Chinese embassies – including the one in Lisbon – says: “all personnel from companies with Chinese capital must be quarantined for 21 days in advance (of traveling to China) and provide quarantine certificates stamped by the respective companies”.
Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said collaboration between ASEAN and China can be further boosted by intensifying open trade and investment, strengthening the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and focusing on cross-border “travel bubble”.
China has issued a general plan for building a Guangdong-Macao in-depth cooperation zone in Hengqin in China’s southern city Zhuhai. The plan proposes to turn Hengqin into an international leisure travel island, and grow Macao into a global tourism hub.
China recently put forward the Regulations on Pilot Cruise Routes of Chinese-invested Ships Flying Flags of Convenience in Hainan Cruise Ports (For Trial Implementation) to give the cruise industry a boost. The official document sets cruise routes as those departing from Haikou and Sanya, sailing in approved waters and then returning to these two ports without docking in any other ports, otherwise known as “cruises to nowhere”. An industry expert added that these cruises would not sail on the high seas.
Visitors from mainland China and Macau can come to Hong Kong without undergoing compulsory Covid-19 quarantine starting from next Wednesday. The government announced that it will allocate a total of 2,000 entries per day.
Hong Kong air authorities will hold a private inquiry in late December into Greater Bay Airlines’ bid to become the city’s newest carrier, according to a South China Morning Post report citing two sources, a major delay that will derail the fledgling company’s hopes for a 2021 fourth-quarter launch.
An international education organization that is chartering flights from Hong Kong to the UK has reported high demand from Chinese students trying to reach university campuses, with one flight selling out in 30 minutes. Direct commercial flights from mainland China to the UK have been canceled because of concerns around Covid-19. Large numbers of Chinese students come to the UK each year, with 139,130 studying in the country in 2019/20.
Radisson Hotel Group has signed more than 250 deals since the start of the pandemic, according to CEO Federico González, and aims to have 115,000 rooms in the market in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) by 2025. In Asia Pacific, the group is spearheading growth in China, where the portfolio will grow to 1,000 hotels in operation and under development in the next five years together with major shareholder Jing Jiang International.