Here’s a 60-second speed-read of Asia Travel Re:Set Issue #25, published on 24 January 2021.
6 things we learned in Travel & Tourism in Asia Pacific last week include…
Two One-Way Travel Bubbles in New Zealand
This week, Flight NZ941 commenced a new travel era for New Zealand. The country’s second one-way travel bubble began with a flight from Raratonga Airport to Auckland. The landing ushered in quarantine-free travel for residents of the Cook Islands. Similarly to the Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble, this is currently also one-way. So, whereas New Zealand residents have been able to fly to Australia since October 2020, New Zealand residents are not yet permitted to fly to the Cook Islands.
PATA Sets Out APAC Travel Scenarios
The Pacific Asia Travel Association’s 2020-2023 forecasts describe the region’s travel outlook as “fragile and uneven.” The study produced three differing scenarios for a recovery, Mild, Medium and Severe. The best-case (Mild) Mild scenario, would see Asia Pacific welcome 4% fewer arrivals in 2023 compared to 2019. A Severe outcome would result in arrivals in 2023 amounting to less than half the total recorded in 2019.
Beijing Starts Counting Down to the 2022 Winter Olympics
On 4 February, Beijing will officially mark the one-year countdown to the 2022 Winter Olympics. China’s capital will co-host with the mountain resorts of Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. In doing so, it will become the first city to host both the Summer (2008) and Winter Olympic Games. This week, President Xi Jinping toured Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. Meanwhile, the organisers announced that all 2022 Olympic venues will be completed in 2021.
Cambodia & India Plan a Travel Take-Off
Until now, there are no direct flights between India and Cambodia. That will change once India has brought COVID-19 under control. The two nations jointly announced that direct flights could commence later this year. No information was given about which cities will be connected. Before the pandemic, more and more Indian travellers were arriving in Cambodia to visit its ancient temple ruins. However, they needed to transit via other countries.
Sri Lanka & Myanmar Agree Direct Flights
This week, Sri Lanka and Myanmar also agreed to commence direct charter flights “from mid-2021.” Connecting the two countries by air has been discussed for a long time, as have plans to develop bilateral Buddhist cultural tourism services. The announcement came as Sri Lanka prepared its so-called “Bio Bubble” reopening to foreign tourists after 10 months. Both Sri Lanka and Myanmar will likely tap new source markets to rebuild their visitor economies once COVID-19 vaccination programmes develop.
Bali’s ‘Reopening’ Four Months On
It’s hard to believe that 4 months have passed since Bali shelved its planned reopening for inbound travellers on 11 September. Although rumours frequently emerge about Bali rescheduling a date there is no concrete timeline. In the meantime, domestic travel to Bali has been holding up, especially on public holidays. Unfortunately, the number of COVID-19 infections spiked in early January. On Tuesday, Bali recorded 308 COVID-19-related deaths, its highest total of the pandemic. Authorities are attempting to dissuade domestic travellers from visiting in February.
This is a short summary version of Issue #25 of Asia Travel Re:Set: “Plotting Asia’s ‘Fragile’ Travel Recovery”