China update: Latest news on the pandemic

We have prepared a short recap of some of the updates regarding coronavirus and the current situation in China. Read more below…

Official Release About Number of Coronavirus Outbreak – Friday, 25/Sep/2020 

  •   As of September 25, there are 167 remaining infections in China

Travel

  •  The demand for domestic travel has been soaring in China ahead of the country’s Golden Week Holiday, which will start on October 1. Chinese citizens are planning domestic travel and expect to go abroad as early as possible, hopefully by the end of 2020.

Government Initiatives

  • China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has recommended 300 rural tourism routes ahead of the upcoming Golden Week Holiday. According to the ministry, rural tourism has been gaining popularity among holidaymakers as they place more emphasis on safety. Due to the impact of COVID-19, tourists tend to choose shorter trips in order to spend less time travelling.

  • On Monday China released plans to build pilot free trade zones in the country’s capital Beijing, central China’s Hunan Province and east China’s Anhui Province. A plan to expand the pilot free trade zone in east China’s Zhejiang Province was also released.

Education

  • The first chartered flight since the coronavirus pandemic, carrying 400 Chinese students studying at Queen’s University Belfast, arrived at the Northern Ireland city on Saturday. The Qatar Airways flight left Beijing on Friday. Two thirds of the students are new students.
  • A total of 242 million students in China have returned to school as of Friday, accounting for 90 percent of the total number, which shows China’s education system has withstood a major test amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trade

  • Chinese hotel operator Huazhu is looking to acquire foreign hospitality chains as the rapid recovery of the country’s domestic travel market puts it at an advantage to their global peers. In the second quarter of the year, Huazhu’s occupancy rate reached 69%, compared to Hilton’s 22% and Marriott’s 14%.
  • Japan Airlines is offering more flights to Dalian, China. The Japanese carrier will be flying to the Chinese city from Tokyo’s Narita airport three times per week.
  • Alibaba Group’s online travel unit Fliggy has launched an RMB 10 billion (USD 1.48 billion) subsidy program, covering 100,000 hotels nationwide at the initial stage. The program will be extended to transportation and tourist sites before the National Day holiday in October. Holiday bookings have soared since last week, by 190% for hotel bookings and 160% for flight tickets on a week-on-week basis.
  • China’s hotel industry continues a march back to pre-pandemic performance levels. Hotels in China for the week ended September 12 had occupancy rates nearly 9% higher than they were for the same week in 2019, the first sign of year-over-year growth since the global pandemic.

 

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