Chinese Travel Stocks Soar on May Day Holiday Tourism Peak, Eyes Recovery from Covid-19 Outbreak

Attractions in China reopened after long closures due to coronavirus, sending travel stocks up.

Author: Belinda Zhou   

The five-day May Day holiday saw over 100 million Chinese travelers as the nationwide lockdown measures eased.

During the May Day holiday, from last Friday to Tuesday, there were a total of 115 million domestic tourists within the country generating revenue of 47.56 billion yuan ($7 billion), according to figures cited by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in China on Tuesday.

People in China made nearly 200 million trips in the corresponding period in 2019.

The popular cities Chengdu, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Suzhou accommodated high volumes of travelers during the five-day break. The boosted demand for hotel rooms fueled the average housing price of various accommodation facilities throughout the country up over 40% to 405 yuan ($58) per day, according to data from the online travel platform Tongcheng.

Regarding the mode of transportation, data from the Ministry of Transport show that Chinese travelers expressed a preference for roads and railways. Over 67 million passengers hit the roads, while more than 23 million passengers chose to take the national railways from April 30 to May 3. Civil aviation and water transportation moved 2.5 million passengers and 2.9 million passengers, respectively.

Cautious of another outbreak, travelers chose to mostly drive themselves to their respective hotels and did their best to limit contact with strangers--a sign of what may be the new normal. 

China reported less than three new daily confirmed coronavirus cases since May 1, making the May Day holiday a cause for careful celebration. 

"The national traffic this year will increase by 355% compared with April, and the total number of trips will increase by 282%," Weili Sun, the senior manager of public affairs of Trip.com Group Ltd.(Nasdaq: TCOM), said.

Shares in the one of Asia's largest booking platform jumped over 2% Tuesday morning, to $24.61 per share. Shares in Tuniu Corp. (Nasdaq: TOUR) rebounded over 2% Tuesday morning, trading at less than one dollar.

Other hotel stocks like Huazhu Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: HTHT) soared nearly 5% to $33.58 Tuesday morning. The Shanghai-based company was forced to close 50% of its hotels during the outbreak of the coronavirus and anticipated closing 350 to 450 hotels in 2020.

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