SOEs begin divesting hotel businesses
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are divesting more than US$15.53 billion worth of hotel assets in compliance with a government order to concentrate only on core businesses. China Mobile transferred Chongqing-based Li Yuan Hotel in August “for free” to China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corp, while China Railway Group and Sinosteel are also offloading assets. Nearly all of the 128 major centrally-owned SOEs have ventured into hotel operations, resulting in a distorted market. Last year the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) told SOEs that aren’t focused on tourism to exit the hotel industry within 3-5 years.
Chinese travelers make most business trips
Chinese business travelers made the most trips – an average of 8.7 – in the first six months of 2011, compared with a regional average of 6.3 trips, according to a recent survey by French hospitality group Accor. The inaugural 2011 Asia-Pacific Business Traveller Survey, released in July, polled 10,437 respondents from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand. According to the report, Chinese and Indonesian travelers have the lowest budgets for business travel accommodation at US$99 and US$92 per night, respectively.
Taiwan’s mainland tourist gains under question
Taiwan’s reported gains from mainland tourists may be overstated by at least US$700 million, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, who is seeking re-election in January, claims the island has met its promise of making US$2 billion a year in tourism revenues by easing restrictions on mainland travelers. However, AP interviews with industry officials and Taiwanese tour operators, as well as an examination of Taiwan tour packages, suggest that government figures of Chinese daily spending may be exaggerated by more than US$70 per tourist. Taiwan’s government reported that 1.16 million Chinese tourists visited the island in 2010.
Inbound tourism services needs boost, says CYTS
China CYTS Tours Holding – a tourism service provider – announced plans to improve service standards and open 10 new outlets in North China, as it seeks a stronger foothold in secondary cities in an effort to boost inbound tourism. According to the National Tourism Administration of China, overall tourism revenues in the first half of 2011 exceeded US$155 billion, growing 18% year-on-year. However, the inbound tourism market rose by only 1% in the same period. Analysts say growth in the inbound market is hindered by currency appreciation and inflation.