Mailman X Business Weekly | September 7th

Here are China’s top tourism business news that you need to know from this week:

China – Africa Tourism Year Highlights

In 2017, there are more than 790,000 Chinese travelers visiting African countries. This fact is confirmed by Ctrip who received 60% more African trip booking. Experts claim that ease in visa application and increasing flight routes are the two main reasons for the tourism boost. East Africa is seen as the ideal destination to escape the summer heat, especially Kenya. Read here for more (Chinese).

  • Mailman X’s Take: Strategically partnering with China to celebrate a year of tourism is a great way to spotlight your destination. PR stories led through the government of China usually will find the interest of local media, enabling further reach for DMOs to market their destinations. Much like this China – Africa Tourism Year, we’ve seen other cases like Canada – China Year in 2018 or the US – China Year in 2016 where it led to lighter restrictions and easier access for visa application to the country.


Visa Application For Golden Week Grows More Than 50%

According to Ctrip’s 2018 Golden Week Visa Application Report, demand for visa application during Golden Week travel grew more than 50% YoY. Ctrip booking data shows that Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Maldives, Vietnam, Egypt, UAE and Mauritius are the most popular destinations with visa-free or visa on arrival applications. The report also noted there is nearly a 60% increase of applications from China’s tier 2 cities, mainly from Nanjing, Chengdu, Suzhou and Hangzhou. Read the details here (Chinese).

  • Mailman X’s Take: For Chinese travelers, ease of visa application is one of the main considerations when choosing a holiday destination. There has also been a considerable growth in outbound travel demand from China’s tier 2 cities led by a flurry of activity from businesses. Airlines are competing to create new flight routes in and out of tier 2 cities, while more and more DMOs are holding travel trade tours as well, and with this news, only further proves the opportunity to sway potential travelers from tier 2 cities.


Also this week:

China Blocks Top Australian Broadcaster’s Website

China’s internet regulator has censored The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC)  apps and website in the country. Censorship of news outlets often occurs during or immediately following reports that the Beijing government deems sensitive or destabilizing. The websites of The New York Times, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal have all been blocked in China for years. Find out more here (English).

iQiyi Licenses Premium Content to Air New Zealand

Under the strategic partnership cooperation agreement, Air New Zealand will offer passengers an array of premium iQIYI content available on its aircrafts’ in-flight entertainment system. This partnership makes iQiyi as Asia’s first video platform to have its content featured on a in-flight entertainment system for a major airline. Click here for more (English).

China’s Big 5 OTAs Have 96% of The Hotel Market

According to Trustdata, 96.4% of China’s hotel booking market is controlled by five businesses: Ctrip, Meituan, Qunar, Tongcheng-eLong and Fliggy. There are 91.9 million monthly active users in Q2 2018, a 20% increase compared to Q1 2018. In which, Ctrip’s main users are middle-aged with strong consumption capacity, while users of Meituan and Fliggy are younger and have high buying power potential. Click here to find out more (English).

Mafengwo Forecasts China’s Popular Movie Scenes

Following the popularity of TV series “Story of Yanxi Palace”, Beijing’s Yanxi Palace, where the series is filmed, has been flocked with drama enthusiasts. Based on this trend, Mafengwo publishes a list of “Second Half 2018 Popular Movie Scenes You Can’t Miss”. The list forecasts eight major attractions that will be popular because of drama series. Read here for more (Chinese).

Renren Makes A Tough Comeback Through WeChat Mini Program

Renren, “The Facebook of China”, launched a WeChat Mini Program that lets users access some of the basic functions of its social network. But reaction to Renren’s Mini Program has been mostly lukewarm, with only a few discussions on Weibo and Zhihu, a Chinese Quora-like platform. Despite that, Renren’s downfall is partly due to the rise of other social media platforms like Sina Weibo and WeChat. Experts claimed the other part is because of Renren’s inconsistent business strategy. Click here for detail (English).

iQiyi Hides Video View Counts

iQiyi, the equivalent of Netflix and Hulu, is turning off view counts on all of its videos to combat click farming. iQiyi will use AI to assign a “Heat Value” to videos based on how much they’ve been shared, liked, and commented on, which is believed will provide a “more comprehensive measure of content popularity.” Click here to read more (English).


Mailman X is a China digital consulting agency for the travel industry. Reach out here for more information.