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The following is the [Travel News]: China state media promotes Korea tourism; Hilton eyes 400th hotel this year | Daily Brief from [ChinaTravelNews] recommended by works with Amadeus’ cloud-based flight search platform; Hong Kong gives green light for world-class sport to return in May.

Meituan finalizes $10B raising backed by Tencent

>> Meituan has raised USD 10 billion through mega equity and convertible bond sale. It raised USD 2.98 billion in a two-tranche convertible bond and an extra USD 400 million from its largest shareholder Tencent. The cash will be used to help fund the research and development of autonomous vehicle and drone delivery services. works with Amadeus’ cloud-based flight search platform 

>> Group, parent of leading online travel brands, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar, has ambitious expansion and recovery plans for 2021. The mobile-first online giant will adopt Amadeus’ cloud-based technology solution Amadeus Custom Search, as part of its own boutique shopping engine to fuel these ambitions and deliver an exceptional customer experience.

China ruling party mouthpiece promotes tourism in South Korea

>> The Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, has published tourism advertisements for South Korea, featuring South Korean celebrities, according to a KBS World report. It is the first time a Chinese government mouthpiece resumed promoting tourism in South Korea, following friction a few years ago over the deployment of the U.S. THAAD system.

Hilton APAC president: Mid-scale segment will only get bigger in China

>> Hilton and JinJiang International have extended their partnership on the Hilton Hampton management licensing till 2034, eyeing to create a hotel network of more than 600 properties in China. Alan Watts, President, Asia Pacific of Hilton, sees great demand for mid-scale hotels in the country, both before and after COVID-19. Hilton aims to open its 400th hotel in Greater China this year.

Beijing pushing for vaccine passport for those inoculated with Chinese vaccines

>> After exporting COVID-19 vaccines to almost 70 countries, China is gearing up to push for its own vaccine passport to ease entry to foreigners and foreign residents of China inoculated with China-made vaccines. But many eligible for the program worry about the lower efficacy of Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines compared with that of vaccines made outside China, and they feel pressured to use Chinese vaccines to obtain entry to China. 

Hong Kong gives green light for world-class sport to return in May

>> The track cycling Nations Cup in May will become the first major international sporting event in Hong Kong in more than a year after the government on Monday approved organizers’ Covid-19 safety measures. The government agrees on deadline day to approve the safety measures proposed by Hong Kong Cycling Association to stage May 13-16 event.

Markets warm to positive Q1 preliminary results from China Duty Free Group parent

>> China Duty Free Group (CDFG) parent company China Tourism Group Duty Free Corp (CTG Duty Free) unveiled its first-quarter 2021 preliminary results, saying that it expects Q1 net profit of RMB 2.85 billion (USD 435.8 million) this year compared with an RMB 120 million (USD 18.3 million) loss in Q1 2020. 

China’s airlines expected to narrow first-quarter losses amid traffic surge

>> The Chinese airline industry is forecast to lose about RMB 30 billion (USD 4.6 billion) for the quarter ended 31 March – an improvement on roughly RMB 35 billion loss a year earlier – amid an improvement in “recovery momentum”. Chinese carriers flew a total of 47.8 million passengers during the quarter, representing an 11% drop from pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Domestic passenger numbers have already exceeded 2019 levels. 

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