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. I co-host The South East Asia Travel Show, am author of The New Chinese Traveler: Business Opportunities from the Chinese Travel Revolution, and a media commentator on Asian travel economics and consumer trends.

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

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 in 2014. 

Asia Travel Analysis

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.

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 & Speaker Assignments

I am frequently invited to participate in media interviews discussing Asia travel trends, including 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. 

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 Organisation (COTRI).

I also participate in various travel industry webinars, discussing topics ranging from the 2021 outlook for travel and tourism in ASEAN to the opportunities for travel brands in Cambodia.

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.

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