About Me – Gary Bowerman

Gary Bowerman

I am Director of Check-in Asia, a tourism intelligence & strategic marketing firm with bases in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur. Co-host The South East Asia Travel Show, I am author of The New Chinese Traveler: Business Opportunities from the Chinese Travel Revolution. I am an Asia travel analyst for Phocuswright and a South East Asia consumer trends analyst for Mintel.

A regular media commentator on Asian travel economics and consumer trends, I am also a frequent speaker at travel conferences and webinars worldwide.

In 2023, I will co-author The Chinese Outbound Tourism Handbook 2023 and a new book for Routledge entitled The Return of Chinese Outbound Tourism(September 2023). 

Early Career

Born in Oxford, my travel path was set from an early age. My mum was a travel agent, and I spent hours in the office stamping brochures and rearranging the shelves. I also listened intently to people booking their trips to destinations near and far.

My travel career began as a researcher for Rough Guides. The debut assignment was researching a Central America guidebook in Nicaragua and El Salvador. 

I later became Editorial Director for a travel publisher in London, and a publishing consultant for the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) in Washington DC. I edited ASTA’s relaunched membership magazine after 9/11, and produced daily on-site magazines at the ASTA Congress in Miami and Hong Kong.

China Days

The New Chinese Traveler, Business Opportunities from the Chinese Travel Revolution

After moving to Shanghai in 2004, I became Editor of Shanghai Business Review. I was also a columnist for CNN Traveller, and contributed from across China to Business Traveler, Condé Nast Traveller, Forbes Travel Guide, Luxe Guides, Zagat, TTG Asia, Travel Weekly and TravelAge West.

While living in China, I co-founded Check-in Asia, a travel and lifestyle content, marketing and research agency. We later added bases in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Check-in Asia’s clients include The Peninsula Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels, Shangri-La Hotels, HRS, Mintel, JNTO and DKSH.

Having monitored Chinese domestic and outbound tourism since 2004, my book, The New Chinese Traveler: Business Opportunities from the Chinese Travel Revolution, was published by Palgrave in 2014. 

Asia Travel Analysis

SEA Travel Market Report

An experienced Asia travel analyst and commentator, I have produced reports on the tourism economies of ASEAN, Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Macau, New Zealand and Pakistan. 

I produced a white paper on China’s OTA sector, a 20-year retrospective of Ctrip, plus the China & India: Expansion of the Superpowers and Tourism Investment in South East Asia reports. I also contributed to the Polarisation of the Asian Traveller white paper, published by Sabre. 

I provide monthly updates and commentaries on travel, consumer and lifestyle trends for countries across South East Asia, North East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

In 2021, I produced the Southeast Asia Travel Market Report 2020-2024, for Phocuswright. I am currently researching a new China Travel Market Report 2020-2025, to be published in April 2022.

I co-host The South East Asia Travel Show, a weekly podcast discussing the hot travel industry topics in South East Asia and Asia Pacific.

Media Assignments

Gary Bowerman BBC News December 2021

I am frequently invited to participate in media interviews discussing Asia travel trends, including Al-Jazeera, BBC World News, Bloomberg, CNN, CNA, CCTV, Reuters, ITV News, Monocle 24, Skift, Asia Gaming Brief, Nikkei Asia Review, WSJ, Jing Travel, The Straits Times, Hotel News Now and South China Morning Post. 

Speaker Engagements

Smart Community Tourism Webinars Gary Bowerman

Since the start of the pandemic, I have spoken and participated in several travel and tourism conferences, seminars and online webinars. Below are a few selected events:

In 2020, I spoke at Tourism & COVID-19 seminars for the American Club in Singapore & AmCham Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

I was a keynote speaker for the ASEAN Tourism Research Association conference, a panelist at the OneASEAN investment conference, organised by UBS, and a presenter at the Advantage: Tourism Chinese Outbound Masterclass, organised by the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI).

In March 2021, I was a keynote speaker at the 8th ASEAN Tourism Research Association Annual Forum, which focused on ‘Future Tourism in ASEAN – Challenges & Opportunities’. My presentation was entitled, Tourism in Transformation: Tapping Into Post-COVID Consumer Aspirations & Expectations.

I was also a speaker at the Global Tourism Forum: Future of Chinese Travel to Indonesia, the annual UBS Thailand Tourism Investor Conference, Back to Business: Travel Update in Asia Pacific, organised by AmChams of Asia, and the Smart Community Webinar Series on Domestic Tourism in Asia, alongside senior tourism officials from Japan, India, China and Malaysia.

I also gave a presentation at the Sustainable Tourism Development in Southeast Asia session of the 2021 Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference.

In 2022, I gave the keynote speech at the TravMedia Asia Summit 2022 and the Guangzhou International Tourism Fair Seminar. In November, I joined a distinguish panel of international speakers at the 6th World Tourism Conference in Malaysia.

I’ve also been a speaker at the OneASEAN Forum, hosted by UBS, ASEAN Air Travel: Challenges & Ways Forward, hosted by FACTS Asia, and El Turismo Chino: Un Mundo de Posibilidades, organised by the Madrid-based Centro de Estudios de Turismo Chino (CESTUR China). I was also a panelist at X-Change Malaysia: Recharging Business Travel, and joined the OAG Webinar – Tipping Point: Has Travel Confidence Returned?