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Chinese hotel chain Huazhu projects Q4 revenues to surpass previous guidance; UK museum reaches Chinese audiences through Alibaba Fliggy.

China’s hotel recovery falls off rails amid new coronavirus flare-ups

>> For the last two weeks, China’s hotel industry recovery veered majorly off course from a path that had companies like Marriott predicting a full recovery there by some point later this year. Revenue per room was down roughly 40% in China for each of the first two full weeks of 2021, according to STR. It was only down by nearly 4% for the week ending January 2. The sharp decline is due to flare-ups of the virus in provinces around Beijing and further north. Executives at companies like Accor, IHG, and Hyatt were optimistic about the recovery outlook in China.

Natural History Museum reaches Chinese audiences through Alibaba

>> The Natural History Museum has partnered with Alibaba’s online travel platform Fliggy to launch a two-hour livestream tour and reach new Chinese audiences. Around 100,000 Chinese viewers joined the livestream within the first minute. While live streaming is a relatively new phenomenon in Europe, in China it has become central to marketing everything from museums to beauty products.

Indonesia longs to see Chinese tourists back

>> Amid rising relief and hope with vaccinations, countries such as Indonesia are now looking to China for the recovery of their tourism industry. Indonesia expects significant numbers of Chinese tourist arrivals from this year, although it may be too early to say that Southeast Asia’s largest country will soon be ready enough for tourist arrivals in the coming months. In 2019 Indonesia was the world’s third-most attractive tourist destination for Chinese travelers, after Japan and Thailand.

Huazhu projects Q4 revenues to surpass previous guidance

>> Shanghai-based hotel chain Huazhu Group expects Q4 net revenues in China to be better than previous guidance, as travel demand shows resilience and recovery in previously affected cities started accelerating after adjusting down the risk level in those cities. In its third-quarter financial report, Huazhu expected net revenues to grow by 0%-3% year-over-year for the fourth quarter. RevPAR of the Legacy-Huazhu hotels (excluding Deutsche Hospitality) for the fourth quarter was RMB 186, down by 2.4% year-over-year, but up from RMB 179 in the previous quarter.

Hong Kong’s Greater Bay Airlines seeks rights to fly to over 100 cities

>> Hong Kong’s newest carrier Greater Bay Airlines has formally applied for air transportation rights to operate to more than 100 points in the Asia-Pacific region. More than half of the routes are to mainland China including trunk routes to Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen and Haikou, as well as to second- and third-tier Chinese cities. The airline has also applied to operate to destinations like Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

HNA Group says efforts to resolve liquidity crisis progressing

>> China’s HNA Group said a local government-led working team has finished due diligence at the company and laid out risk disposal plans, enabling it to move to the next stage of resolving a multi-year liquidity crisis. Risk disposal efforts are progressing smoothly and will soon enter a critical period, the company said in a statement. HNA Group owns more than 2,300 companies, and the risk disposal plans were “extremely complicated”.

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