Tourism enjoys 'strong recovery momentum'

Zhu Shenshen
China's biggest online tourism company announces its first profitable quarter since the COVID-19 outbreak after a growth in demand for domestic travel.
Zhu Shenshen

China’s tourism industry enjoyed “strong recovery momentum” in the third quarter, the country’s biggest online tourism firm Group said on Wednesday. 

Nasdaq-listed Trip, formerly Ctrip, reported a net profit of 1.6 billion yuan (US$235 million) in the quarter, the first profitable quarter since the COVID-19 outbreak. Revenue was 5.5 billion yuan, a 48 percent decrease from a year ago but a 73 percent increase from the previous quarter. 

“The global travel industry continued to be under significant pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in China, we have already seen most of our major business segments return to pre-COVID level of activities in recent months,” said James Liang, executive chairman of the Shanghai-headquartered company.

Trip has seen “strong recovery momentum” in China, which extended through the October Golden Week and was sustained into the fourth quarter, Trip added.

COVID-19 has forced governments and organizations to halt most international tourism. However, domestic travel has gradually recovered in China, and could enjoy a further rebound in next year’s traditional holidays in October and February, according to analysts.

In the quarter, Trip’s revenue from accommodation reservations, transport tickets, packaged tours and corporate travel jumped 66 to 151 percent from the previous quarter. 

In the fourth quarter, Trip expects revenue to decrease by around 37 to 42 percent year on year as a result of the continued negative impact due to COVID-19 and heavily hit international business.

The company is looking forward to seeing travel activity resume globally, following the success witnessed in China, said Liang. 

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