Here’s a 60-second speed-read of Asia Travel Re:Set Issue #97 – 6 Reasons Why Asia Pacific Travel & Tourism in 2022 is Not Normal!, published on 23 October 2022.
Travel and tourism are entering an unfolding new era in which nothing is quite as it would seem. There are many contexts we are yet to fully grasp. This week’s newsletter addresses six factors underpinning the evolving uncertainty throughout Asia Pacific.
1) From 1 Billion Arrivals…
In January 2020, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) forecast that Asia Pacific would receive 971 million international visitor arrivals (IVAs) in 2024. Almost one billion. We all know what happened next. But what if that (not unreasonable) prediction, which was based on regional growth over the previous 5 years, had proved correct?
For context, PATA updated its forecasts in early 2022 – and now predicts a range of between 501.9 million to 817.7 million IVAs for 2024.
2) Free Flights in Hong Kong
In early October, Hong Kong’s Tourism Board announced it would give away 500,000 flight tickets. Free of charge. The objective is to incentivise visitors to return after the long pandemic border closure.
It was a great piece of PR, and generated huge media coverage around the world. But it would not have happened in any other era!
3) Large Percentage Growth for Visitors
Statistical reporting of visitor arrivals is currently highlighting big year-on-year gains. This is inevitable given that entry restrictions were in place across South East Asia for much of 2021. These comparative increases will moderate in 2023, but for now they are surreal reminders of tough times.
For example, Malaysia reported a 4,112% annual rise in arrivals in the first half of 2022, while Indonesia claimed annual visitor growth of 2,028% from January to August.
4) Singapore’s 10-Year Record Room Rate
In July 2022, Singapore reported its highest average room rate since September 2012. The statistics behind the 10-year-high room rate of SGD259 are intriguing – read the full issue here for more details.
5) Economies Facing New Pressures
Central Banks throughout Asia Pacific are facing new pressures as the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war, oil supply shocks and shifting geopolitics deflate currencies, and push up prices and interest rates. Read the full issue here for 3 examples.
6) Covid Warnings Re-Emerge
Media attention in South East Asia is turning to rising Covid infections. This comes almost 1 year after the emergence of Omicron saw governments postpone their reopening plans. Three nations will be worth watching to see how the spread of new variants, such as XBB, plays out. These are Singapore, South East Asia’s most connected air hub, Indonesia, its largest country, and India, where the Delta variant commenced its destructive path from mid-2021 onwards.
This is a 60-second speed-read of Asia Travel Re:Set Issue #97 – 6 Reasons Why Asia Pacific Travel & Tourism in 2022 is Not Normal, published on 25 September 2022.