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Hotel industry in China showing signs of recovery

By Wang Junwei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-04-14 15:51

Tourists pose for selfies amid blooming cole flowers in Wanggou township of Baofeng county in Pingdingshan, Central China's Henan province, March 26, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Business for China's hotel industry is starting to pick up, as the COVID-19 pandemic has been controlled to a situation of stability in the country, according to a Monday report from the Paper.

Hotel reservations in China from March 30 to April 6 increased by 24 percent week-on-week. Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou saw the most bookings; while Zhengzhou, Chongqing and Hangzhou registered the fastest growth, as per data from the online travel service platform Qunar.

The first quarter data this year revealed the country's average price of a hotel room amounted to 374 yuan ($53) per night in January, 306 yuan in February and 255 yuan in March.

For high-star hotels (four-star and above), average prices in the first three months of this year were 774 yuan, 593 yuan and 529 yuan per night, respectively. Though February suffered an over 30 percent price decline, the trend slowed down in March, data from Qunar shows.

The number of people choosing high-star hotels with better service and higher safety standards showed a V shape in the first quarter. In February, hotels of four stars or above were hit by an 87 percent plunge of customers, while the number of guests in March was 2.16 times higher than the previous month due to the market recovery.

Gou Zhipeng, vice-president of Qunar, who was quoted in the report, said that many "price-sensitive" consumers are becoming "safety-sensitive" because of the disease, and safety has become the top concern for travelers.

A similar shift has been observed in transportation. The scale of passengers in business class or first class, which was much higher than in 2019 and 2018, bucked the declining trend in February, according to data from Qunar. In March, the booking volume for business class and first class, which have a lower passenger density, increased by 46 percent from February, far above the 34 percent growth from economy class.

On the other hand, the five-day Labor Day holiday in May could encourage more tourists to choose multiday trips or overnight trips over three days, and there is a greater possibility of "compensatory consumption" during the holiday, said Ctrip's big data lab researcher Peng Liang.

On April 9, searches for package tours or DIY tours surged by 300 percent month-on-month on the online travel agency Ctrip after the longer holiday notice was released, the report said, citing data from Ctrip.

The number of tourists is expected to reach a recent high, more than twice the number recorded in this year's Qingming Festival, and it may become this year's first tourism peak, said Ctrip in the report.

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