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China’s leading online travel agency reports huge loss in wake of COVID-19

China’s leading online travel agency reports huge loss in wake of COVID-19

China’s leading online travel firm reported huge financial loss due to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

According to financial report released today, Shanghai-based Trip.com Group Limited, recorded 1.5 billion yuan (about 211 million U.S. dollars) loss from operations in the first quarter of this year.

The group reported net revenue of 4.7 billion yuan from January to March, dropping 42 percent from the same period last year.

The company’s results for the first quarter of 2020 have been significantly and negatively impacted by COVID-19, which drove a significant decline in travel demand resulting in reservation cancellations and reduced new orders, said the report.

The group’s accommodation business was mostly hit with reservation revenue in Q1 dropping 62 percent year on year to 1.2 billion yuan. Transportation ticketing revenue, packaged-tour revenue and corporate travel revenue in Q1 witnessed year-on-year decreases of 29 percent, 50 percent and 47 percent, respectively.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges to the global travel industry. However, we have seen stabilization or recovery of travel activities in many of the markets where we operate,” said James Liang, executive chairman of the group. “In China, travel activities hit bottom in February and have since been consistently on a recovery track. We have full confidence that the industry will return and reach new high as the pandemic recedes.”

According to the group, tourism consumption gradually warms up as the country enters the stage of regular epidemic prevention and control. Since mid-April, the number of air tickets booked through Trip.com has grown significantly, with ticket sales of scenic spots increasing 94 percent month on month and packaged tours including tourist sites and hotels more than doubled from March.

More than 350 destinations at home and abroad, 500 air routes and 10,000 hotels have joined the group’s plan to revive the pandemic-hit travel industry.

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