Asia Travel Re: Set – Issue #71: In Summary

Asia Travel Re:Set Issue 71

Here’s a 60-second speed-read of Asia Travel Re:Set Issue 71 – A South East Asia Travel Wish List for the Year of the Tigerpublished on 30 January 2022.

South East Asia is racing to reopen borders – but a panoply of new entry rules and travel restrictions will remain in place.

The region will not return to its pre-pandemic ‘Buy and Fly’ travel culture any time soon.

So, this week, I’ve set out 5 selected items from a detailed 22-point wish list for travel and tourism that Hannah Pearson and I discussed on The South East Asia Travel Show.

Read the full 22-point South East Asia travel list for 2022 HERE

1) Separate border control from tourism management

Evolving pandemic realities have left travel and tourism more exposed than ever to political power games. This is a fact of life for every country in the region. Loosening state control is South East Asia’s biggest challenge – but it will be hard-won. 

2) Intra-ASEAN travel free from quarantines

Quarantines are unworkable at this stage of the pandemic. The recent ASEAN Tourism Ministers summit in Cambodia reiterated a shared commitment to create an ASEAN Travel Corridor. We’ve heard this before – many times. Individual nations are going their own way on border reopening, but a 10-nation agreement remains a vital – and symbolic – goal.

3) Governments communicate with clarity, not confusing proxy terms

Since the pandemic began, government communications have become littered with multi-meaning acronyms and neologisms. So, as we move into the third year of living with COVID-19, let’s eliminate confusing terminology like “SOPs” (Standard Operating Procedures), “Travel Extension Areas,” “Green Travel Trails” and “Pilot International Travel Bubble.” Strip out the psychobabble, and let’s talk clarity in travel once more.

22 for 2022 ASEAN Travel Wishlist

4) Removal of the requirement to book via approved tour agents

As per #1 (above), governmental control has taken over travel supply and booking channels. Vietnam and Malaysia, for example, both opened pilot inbound schemes that require all bookings throughout a trip to be made with approved local agents. This stifles competition, limits choice for travellers and inflates prices. 

5) Recognise that travel and tourism’s national contribution is more than a “percentage of GDP”

People across the region travel for many and varied reasons. Economic uplift is part of the overall value of travel. But the societal and cultural benefits are far more complex. Travel brings people together in ways that the pandemic showed are genuinely life-enhancing – and very much missed.

Above all, let’s bring the fun back to travel!

This is a 60-second speed-read of Asia Travel Re:Set Issue #71 – A South East Asia Travel Wish List for the Year of the Tiger, published on 30 January 2022.

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