Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at Carnival’s earnings, Chinese outbound travelers, and new Indian traveler habits.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, June 27. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
China was a major market for Carnival Corporation prior to the pandemic. But despite Beijing lifting the country’s strict travel curbs earlier this year, the cruise line isn’t returning to China in the near future, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.
Carnival CEO Josh Weinstein said on Monday the company’s strong second quarter did not reflect a return to China, and added the company would “be on the sidelines” for a few years. Roughly 1 million Carnival guests came from China in 2019.
Meanwhile, Weinstein described the company’s onboard revenue as “off the charts.” Habtemariam reports more than a third of Carnival’s onboard revenue over the 12 months have been booked in advance. However, despite that higher consumer spending, the company’s shares fell 10 percent, after Carnival executives noted rising labor and fuel costs. Carnival Chief Financial Officer David Bernstein said the company incurred $13 million in higher fuel costs.
Next, speaking of China, strong performance over the country’s most recent national holiday is a major sign international travel is rebounding, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.
Bhutia writes China’s three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday revealed a noticeable rebound in outbound travel. International border crossings during the holiday period hit 65 percent of 2019 levels, according to government officials. Bhutia notes that Hong Kong was the most popular destination for travelers living in Mainland China, with hotel bookings made by Mainland Chinese for Hong Kong trips recording a substantial increase from last year.
China had the largest outbound travel market in the world before the pandemic, both in terms of number of trips and total spend.
Finally, delays in Europe visitor visas are driving more Indian travelers to book trips closer to home, reports Asia Editor Bhutia and Middle East and Asia Reporter Amrita Ghosh.
As one India-based travel executive admitted those delays are concerning to those looking to visit Europe, online travel company MakeMyTrip said Indian travelers are increasingly interested in Asian destinations. The company notes Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia are among the top five choices for Indian travelers. In addition, 92 percent of travelers expressed a desire to explore domestic destinations, according to a recent survey by budget hotel operator Oyo.
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Photo credit: Diamond Princess cruise ship, owned by Carnival. Rainy City / Flickr