In the days leading up to Christmas 2021, South East Asia was plunged into Omicron travel turmoil.
Thailand postponed its quarantine-free Test & Go entry scheme after little more than a month in operation.
Singapore suspended its Vaccinated Travel Lane Schemes.
The Philippines postponed plans to welcome back vaccinated travellers.
Malaysia walked back on a proposal to reopen its borders by 1 January 2022.
The resurrecting of new barriers to travel occurred at the height of peak tourism season in South East Asia
They ensured that the lucrative Christmas / New Year and Lunar New Year holidays would be a washout for the second consecutive year.
After answering questions on individual countries in the region, Gary was asked by both Karishma Vaswani (BBC) and Syahida Othman (CNA) about the forecast for tourism in 2022:
“The pandemic has taught us that the golden rule of travel is not to make long-term predictions. Certainly, the expected boost for the Lunar New Year, which is an important period for regional travel in Asia Pacific, will not how happen. Beyond that, as we enter a new year, 2022, we will have to see the impact of Omicron and assess the outlook quarter by quarter.”