BEIJING – Hotel bookings in China have surpassed pre-pandemic levels since late June, booking site Trip.com said on Thursday.
Trip.com Shares fell more than 7% on Thursday in Hong Kong trading, before recovering slightly to close 4.5% lower. New York-listed shares fell 8.5% overnight, but gained 2.5% in extended trading.
“Overall, Chinese domestic hotel bookings on our platform quickly rebounded and [have] has surpassed pre-Covid levels since late June,” Cindy Xiaofan Wang, chief financial officer at Trip.com, said during an earnings press conference Thursday morning.
“Total domestic hotel bookings are about 20% higher than 2019 levels in July and we continued to grow from 2019 levels in August and achieved super-high growth compared to 2019 levels.” with 2021,” she said.
That growth comes despite continued sporadic closures and travel restrictions across China to control the Covid outbreak. Tens of thousands of tourists stranded in the resort area of Hainan province in August due to the Covid control measures that canceled transportation out of the island.
Staying has driven much of the increase in tourism in the summer.
Trip.com said that in the most recent quarter, hotel bookings in the same city grew 30% from 2019 levels.
However, Wang said the number of domestic air passengers “has fallen by 70% to 80% from 2019 levels in recent weeks.”
Trip.com reported second-quarter revenue of 4.01 billion yuan ($572.9 million), topping expectations of 3.58 billion yuan, according to FactSet. Revenue from accommodation bookings and transportation ticket sales both beat estimates from FactSet.
However, total revenue in the second quarter fell 32% year-over-year and 2% quarter-over-quarter. The company said the drop was “primarily due to the continued disruption caused by the resurgence of Covid-19 in China.”
For the China-based company, its international services have proven to be a bright spot.
“Trip.com’s growth was mainly driven by a strong recovery in international flights, and we are pleased to see such momentum continue in the third quarter,” Wang said, noting that volume Flight bookings in July are close to 90% of 2019 levels.
In the second quarter, same-country hotel bookings outside of China quadrupled compared to 2019.
By region, sales from Europe and the Americas have surpassed 2019 levels, Wang said.
Much of the world has eased many of Covid’s travel restrictions, while China maintains a strict policy, known as the dynamic zero-Covid policy.