China Sees Domestic Travel Uptick
Hotels are reopening in China as official figures say daily new cases of Covid-19 have reduced drastically in the country, and travel restrictions begin to lift. International chains including IHG and Marriott are rolling back closures, with IHG unshuttering 118 of its 178 closed hotels, and Marriott unlocking the doors of 60 out of 90 properties.
Meanwhile, travel agencies are seeing an uptick in bookings for domestic flights and hotels outside of Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak. Chinese online booking platform Tongcheng-Elong has reported a 230% increase in daily domestic flight bookings and a 90% increase in hotel reservations in mid-March, compared to mid-February during the peak of the epidemic (SCMP, March 2020).
Chai Yinghui, PR manager at Tongcheng-Elong, told the South China Morning Post: “A notable trend is that more consumers are making reservations for their long-term travel plans. In the last week of February, bookings for domestic flights departing in June surged by 250% compared to the previous week.”
Stylus will continue to chart these initial brand explorations into a post Covoid-19 world. Undoubtedly these will need to be carefully and sensitively planned, in-line with legislation, safety and consumer sentiment.