Shanghai Disney testing parade for reopening; Klook furloughs hundreds | Weekly Review
04/25/2020|6:12:10 PM|ChinaTravelNews

Positive Chinese outbound sentiment to restore Thailand’s tourism

>> A new survey of consumers in China's first-tier cities has concluded that 53% of respondents would like to travel overseas within 2020. The newly released China Thailand Travel Sentiment Survey 2020, conducted by C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications, showed that 71% of Chinese consumers would like to visit Thailand. The top 5 preferred booking channels for Chinese travelers to Thailand are Ctrip (61%), Fliggy (16%), hotel websites (9%), (5%) and WeChat (5%).

Shanghai Disney testing parade and more for reopening

>> According to one twitter user, Shanghai Disneyland cast members also tested indoor theatres with new safety precautions. Bob Iger has already said that he is looking to China and how it reopens its attractions to ensure guests feel safe when Disney reopens. Swiss bank UBS analyst John Hodulik told clients this week he thinks it’s likely the Disney theme parks won’t open until January 2021, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Tongcheng-Elong denies mass layoffs as it merges units

>> The parent company of China's online travel agency Tongcheng-Elong denied speculation about mass layoffs as it announced the start of a merger that will combine its main aviation and travel agency businesses. Tongcheng Group will merge Hongtu Airlines, Tongcheng International Travel Service and Tongcheng Travel (formerly Wanda Travel) into a new company called Tongcheng Aviation & Travel Service Group. 

Klook lets go of hundreds as travel lockdown hits business

>> Hong Kong's tours and activities platform Klook reportedly laid off or furloughed more than 300 people and closed some offices amid the coronavirus pandemic. While the company would not confirm specifics, CEO Ethan Lin did acknowledge cost-cutting measures including headcount reduction, furloughs, and reduced workweek. 

Tuniu completes most holiday cancellation refunds

>> Chinese leisure travel platform Tuniu said it has shouldered more than RMB 100 million direct loss on booking cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and so far the refunds for these cancellations have been mostly completed, though the company is yet to receive its refund from its suppliers. All executives at Tuniu have cut their salaries by 60% to help the company save costs during the hard time. 

Chinese tourism to decline more than one third due to virus

>> Research from a Beijing think tank estimates the COVID-19 virus will dent China's total tourism income by more than 30% in 2020 from the previous year, with tourist arrivals cut by 20% and a bleak outlook on the coming holidays. The conclusion was announced during an online discussion from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing on Tuesday. Considering the complexity of the pandemic trend, the spread of the virus and its impact on the school resumptions, it is not appropriate to be too optimistic about a tourism rebound during holidays such as the upcoming May holidays, the summer holidays and National Day holidays, said Song Rui, director of the tourism research center under CASS.

Hotel bookings through global distributors, suppliers down 80% in early April  

>> The hotel occupancy trends for January 1 to April 11 of 2019 and 2020 mapped by STR show that occupancy was at its lowest just ahead of the Spring Festival in 2019, but rebounded sharply as holiday leisure traffic increased and business travel picked up post-holiday. Global hotel distribution technology provider DerbySoft revealed that Asia Pacific had the highest share of hotel bookings from regional visitors in the first 12 days of April, though only up to 34.9% of last year’s level. Booking volumes started to decline since February 19. The biggest drop was recorded between March 4-11 by supplier data, falling sharply from 81.5% to 46.7% of the previous year’s level in just a week.

Accor Q1 RevPAR falls 67.7% in China

>> Accor said its first-quarter RevPAR fell 25.4% on a like-for-like basis due to the sharp deterioration in the industry amid the global coronavirus outbreak. For the month of March, the decline was 62.6%. Quarterly RevPAR was down 33.7% in Asia Pacific. In China, where the virus was first reported, first-quarter RevPAR fell 67.7%, however the company sees signs of an improvement with a pickup of occupancy rates and restaurant business.

China's hotel RevPAR drops 77.6% in March

>> Asia Pacific's hotel industry reported all-time lows in RevPAR, occupancy and ADR during March 2020, according to data from STR. Occupancy in China declined 65.4% to 23.2% in the month, ADR was RMB 332.41, and RevPAR plummeted 77.6% to RMB 76.96. China’s hotel occupancy level was up from February (12.8%), which was the lowest occupancy month on record in the country. Key markets Beijing and Shanghai reported decreases in the metric of 78.7% and 73.7%, respectively.  

Big Three Chinese airlines see significant losses in Q1 

>> Air China said its passenger carried was down by 69.1% in March and down by 51.8% in the first quarter. China Southern Airlines reported a 60.44% decrease in passenger capacity in March and load factor was 58.16% in the month. China Eastern Airlines' passenger capacity in March declined 69% and load factor was 55.78%. All the three state-owned airlines expect significant losses in the quarter. 

Daily air passenger numbers up 7.9% in April

>> China's aviation regulator said daily transported air passenger numbers rose 7.9% this month, as of April 21, from March, but was only at 29% of the level seen a year ago, in a sign of how the sector's recovery remains fragile. Daily flights in China rose only 1% in April to 6,586, amounting to just 42% of daily flights before the coronavirus struck.

Flight sales for Labor Day trips post a five-year low 

>> China's flight ticket sales for the upcoming Labor Day holiday registered the lowest level in the past five years, with airfares on major domestic routes down by 30%-60% this year, according to data from flight-comparison site