Car-hailing giant Didi invests $7 million to start a travel agency
>> ChinaTravelNews has learned that Didi Chuxing, the biggest ride-sharing platform in China, has invested RMB 50 million (USD 7 million) in starting an international travel agency based in Beijing. The travel agency will provide services covering domestic travel, inbound tours, tour information consultancy, ticket sales and others.
Didi launched more than 50 tour itineraries in Beijing and Shenzhen in 2015, after it launched the Didi bus service. But the tours were canceled in early 2017. Booking Holdings invested USD 500 million in Didi in 2018.
Meituan records 45.5% fewer room nights amid pandemic impact
>> Lifestyle service online platform Meituan Dianping said its revenue declined 12.6% to RMB 16.8 billion (USD 2.4 billion) in the first three months this year. Operating loss widened more than 30% to RMB 1.7 billion (USD 240 million) for the quarter. Revenues from in-store, hotel & travel were RMB 3.09 billion (USD 434 million) in the first quarter, 31.1% less than last year. The number of domestic room nights consumed in the quarter decreasing by 45.5% to 42.8 million.
Hotel PMS provider GreenCloud raises nearly $14 million
>> Hotel PMS provider GreenCloud has garnered around RMB 100 million (USD 14 million) in its Series B+ round of financing from China Merchants Bank and online travel service giant Trip.com Group’s unit Shanghai Kehui Investment. GreenCloud’s integrated ecosystem offers property management system, Oracle hospitality (Opera PMS), data service and e-commerce platforms. Established in 2010, GreenCloud claims to have served over 18,000 hotels.
US accuses China of blocking US flights, demands action
>> The US government last Friday accused the Chinese government of making it impossible for US airlines to resume service to China and ordered four major Chinese air carriers to file flight schedules with the US government.
China said on Monday it opposes all US restrictions imposed against Chinese airlines, responding to a report that the US Transportation Department has demanded Chinese carriers file their schedules and other flight details by May 27. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said flight restrictions imposed by Beijing treated all airlines equally and were due to efforts to curb COVID-19 related risks.
China reduces airlines burden by extending payment exemption
>> As part of the efforts to relieve the financial burden for airlines, China announced that a range of tax and fees reduction measures originally expiring by end of June have been extended to the end of the year. The relief measures are expected to reduce the financial burden for travel companies to the tune of more than RMB 2.50 trillion (USD 350.4 billion) for the whole year.
Live streaming is a new trend among Chinese airlines
>> Chinese airlines are venturing into the live streaming field as well in a bid to increase sales. Juneyao Airlines launched its first live streaming show with the help of the lastest 5G technology. During the live streaming, Juneyao Airlines gifted round-trip flight tickets, one-year membership, direct cash discount, lounge entry, and free upgrade coupons alongside selling of plane models and other merchandise. Spring Airlines also launched its own streaming promotion. In addition to other possible purchases, businesses can buy an advertisement to be painted on the body of a Spring Airlines aircraft.
China’s travel revival ignites airport stocks, duty-free operators
>> A gauge tracking six airport operators traded in the mainland and Hong Kong exchanges has rallied 9.8% from the lowest point in March, outpacing the 3.4% average gain in airline stocks, according to Bloomberg data. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 5.8% in the same period. While China has maintained strict limits on international flights to curb imported COVID-19 infection, the reopening of domestic routes is underpinning the rally. The number of flights has risen to 60% of pre-pandemic levels on some days this month.
Fliggy claims millions have viewed its travel live streams
>> Alibaba's travel brand Fliggy said it has hosted more than 25,000 travel live streams to more than 70 million viewers since February. It now plans to hire travel influencers from more than 30 countries to showcase destinations worldwide with more than 100 live-streaming sessions a day. In contrast, the famous Uffizi Museum in Florence, Italy has seen its online exhibits rack up only 3.8 million visits over the two months — though that represents a spike of more than 3,500%, the WSJ reported.