Asia Travel Re: Set – Issue #133: In Summary

Asia Travel Re:Set Issue #133 Front Cover Its

Here’s a 60-second speed-read of Asia Travel Re:Set Issue #133 – This Week’s Top 8 Travel & Tourism Talking Points in Asia Pacific!, published on 17 March 2024.

Here are this week’s 8 hot travel takeaways, which take us on a journey to China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Macau and more.

Read Asia Travel Re:Set Issue 133 in full HERE

China, Macau, Hong Kong & Japan

In China, OTAs are feeling some serious investor heat. During their 2023 Annual Report calls, two Nasdaq-listed OTAs, Ctrip and Tuniu, said: “We believe our share price is undervalued.” Both announced share buy-back programmes, which are aimed at reflating their market values.

Macau and Hong Kong are direct competitors for mainland Chinese tourists. Hence, tourism collaboration has been fairly low level. This week, Pansy Ho, Chair of MGM China, proposed 6-10 day multi-stop trips incorporating locations in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China.

From November, Niseko resort in Hokkaido, Japan, will introduce a JPR2000 per-night fee on hotel and private lodging stays. Funds raised from the tax will be used to “improve local transportation and other measures to improve tourism.” 

Malaysia, Indonesia & the Philippines

In Malaysia, 2 new taxes are causing angst among travel circles. Firstly, the increased Passenger Service Charge rates for international travellers. Secondly, a High-Value Goods Tax, which enters into force on 1 May, although there is little clarity about its scope or a refund for tourists.

Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism & Creative Economy has proposed a bilateral partnership with Singapore. This could be a way to work around the thorny issue of “exclusivity” for hosting concerts by touring A-list stars in South East Asia.

This week, Philstar in the Philippines rebutted criticism by some leaders, notably Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and a Philippine Congressman, that Singapore’s funding to Ms Swift’s promoter was un-neighbourly. “Sour Grapes,” it headlined.

Vietnam and Thailand

“Tourism industry still craves visitors,” noted Saigon News in Vietnam. “Japanese tourists are tightening their budgets, and Vietnam is not their top choice destination. Chinese tourists are shifting away from Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam.”

Thailand‘s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is the cover story on Time magazine. Headlined “The Salesman,” the interview discusses his promotion of Thailand as an investment, trade and tourism destination to haul the nation out of an “economic crisis”. He has visited 14 countries since taking power, including Germany, where he outlined his vision for Thai tourism at ITB Berlin,

Read Asia Travel Re:Set Issue 133 in full HERE

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