China plans for Beijing Olympic bubble; Macau visitors rise sharply in November | Daily Brief
12/28/2021|11:38:16 PM|ChinaTravelNews

Xbed Xi Hotel secures new funding to upgrade operational system

>> Xbed Xi Hotel, a subsidiary brand of online hotel platform Xbed, announced that it has secured tens of millions of yuan from existing investor QF Capital. The proceeds will be used for Xbed Xi Hotel’s expansion and the upgrading of the XMS system. Launched in June 2020, Xbed Xi Hotel claimed that it now has nearly 600 properties in operation and in the pipeline. About 68.2% of the brand’s consumers are young guests aged under 30. 

China local COVID-19 cases up for 4th day as Xi'an outbreak expands

>> China's local coronavirus cases rose for a fourth day, with the majority of infections reported by Xi'an, a northwestern city that has put its 13 million people under lockdown. The city reported 175 symptomatic cases for Monday, up from the previous day's 150. No Omicron infections have been announced yet from the more than 800 confirmed cases in Xian since Dec 9.

China plans for Beijing Olympic bubble with no holes or hugs

>> China, where the virus emerged towards the end of 2019, has pursued a "zero-Covid" strategy and is taking the same approach to the February 4-20 Olympics. Organisers hope to limit the spread of infections and keep the Games running smoothly by cocooning almost every person involved in a "closed-loop", effectively a big bubble containing thousands of people.

Delta says flight to China turned back midair because of COVID-19 rules

>> Delta Air Lines said Monday that new pandemic-related cleaning requirements at a Shanghai airport were behind the turning back of a recent flight from Seattle in midair, a move that had prompted a protest from the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. 

China's red tourism gathers steam in 2021

>> Red tourism, which refers to visiting historical sites with a modern revolutionary legacy, has become an increasingly popular choice for travelers in 2021, data from a recent report showed. The number of searches for "red tourism" on Mafengwo, a Chinese travel service and social-networking platform, increased by 176% this year from a year earlier, according to the report jointly published by Mafengwo and China Tourism Academy.

Hong Kong retailers forge new path without mainland Chinese tourists

>> Three years of social unrest followed by a pandemic have devastated Hong Kong retailers who had grown used to relying on cash from mainland Chinese tourists. In a city that once boasted some of the world's highest retail rents, the market has cratered. But a border town has seized the chance to evolve its local economy.

Flight bans leave Hong Kong stranded as new rules freeze routes

>> New travel rules to curb the spread of omicron in Hong Kong look set to isolate the Asian financial hub even further, with at least four international carriers banned from operating certain routes in the month since the more transmissible variant emerged. Hong Kong authorities tightened rules again this week, mandating that if four or more passengers are confirmed to have Covid-19 on arrival from the same place within seven days, that route will be suspended for 14 days.

Macau visitor numbers rise sharply in November

>> Visitor arrivals to the Macau Special Administrative Region surged by 144.1% month-on-month to 801,300 in November driven by key tourism events such as the Macau Grand Prix (November 21) and the Food Festival (November 19 to December 5). Encouragingly for travel sector stakeholders that figure represented a 25.9% rise year-on-year.

Shanghai-Shenzhen rail trip cut to less than 7 hours

>> Shanghai residents will be able to reach Shenzhen within seven hours by high-speed trains from January 10 as the new seasonal railway schedule will be updated, China Railway Shanghai Group said on Monday. 

Brunei, China tourism cooperation continues to strengthen despite COVID-19

>> Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism cooperation between Brunei and China continues to strengthen, Haji Ali, Brunei's Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, said on Monday. He said the country is also grateful to the support extended by the Chinese government for Brunei's national carrier Royal Brunei Airlines to operate in China's Beijing, Changsha, Haikou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Nanning and Shanghai.