In the Media: Articles & Interviews

I am regularly asked to contribute insights and opinions in the media.

Since relocating from London to Shanghai in early 2004 (and Shanghai-Kuala Lumpur in 2010), I’ve contributed as a writer, columnist and reviewer to numerous publications.

These include Financial Times, New York Times, The Guardian, SCMP, CNN Traveller, Skift, Business Traveler, Condé Nast Traveller, Luxe Guides, Zagat, Travel + Leisure, Forbes Travel Guide, Travel Weekly, Travel Daily, TTG Asia and the Asia Media Centre.

As a travel and consumer trends analyst, I’ve been interviewed by various broadcast and online media, including Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, CNA, CNN, CCTV, ITV, Skift, Asia Gaming Brief, The Straits Times, SCMP, WSJ, Reuters, Jing Travel, China Travel News, Travel Weekly Asia & Hotel News Now.

Below are some recent Articles and Interviews (scroll down) discussing Asian travel and consumer topics:


South East Asia Gary Bowerman


The prolonged shutdown of borders in South East Asia could be nearing an end. As talk turns to Sandboxes and Vaccinated Travel Lanes, Gary Bowerman assesses whether the region is moving closer to welcoming back international travellers.

Can South Korea’s Pop Superstars  Sell Everything? – Asia Media Centre 

Kpop bands BTS and Blackpink are brand machines. From Samsung to Pepsi, McDonald’s to Seoul tourism, and LV to Chanel, these young megastars are able to sell (and sell-out) everything they touch. Gary Bowerman finds out how.

Korean K-pop Brand Stars Gary Bowerman

Five Potential Indicators for the Future of Travel Retail – DKSH Insights

“Experiences are more important than possessions.” This has become a mantra of Asia’s travel industry as it seeks to understand how tourism behaviours may evolve. Gary Bowerman analyses whether “revenge spend” tourists  will stimulate visitor economies once more, and how retailers and brands can prepare.

COVID-19 Sparks Innovation in Domestic Travel – Asia Gaming Brief

Prior to the pandemic, domestic tourism received little financial and marketing support in many Asian countries. As a result, governments and tourism boards were under-prepared when COVID-19 forced the shutdown of international travel. Gary Bowerman assesses what happened next.

China Goes Global With Sports Sponsorships – Asia Media Centre 

Prominent Chinese sponsorships of major sports tournaments range from the IPL to the Olympics to the recent EURO 2020. Gary Bowerman takes a closer look at some of the Chinese brands entering the global sports marketing arena.

Self-Drive Travel in South East Asia – Asia Media Centre 

In the volatile context of COVID-19, no-one can be certain how patterns of travel in South East Asia will shift. What is viable is to search for clues among pre-pandemic trends that have crystallised over the past year. One trend that stands out beyond all others is self-drive trips.

Asia’s Quest to Reopen Travel – Asia Media Centre

With most borders closed since March 2020, Asian travellers remain grounded while the tourism, airline and hospitality firms continue to suffer crippling losses, says Gary Bowerman.

Gary Bowerman Asia's Quest to Reopen Travel

All of Asia’s Eyes Turn to Bali – Travel Daily Media

As the countdown to Bali’s (ultimately postponed) reopening to international arrivals in September 2020, Gary Bowerman assessed who may come, from where and when.

COVID-19 Relegated Sports Tourism from a Slam Dunk Year to a No-show – CNA

With the Tokyo Olympics and European Championships 2020 delayed until 2021 and top matches played in empty stadiums, sports tourism faces a tough future, says Gary Bowerman.

20 Unpredictable Travel Outcomes So Far in 2020 – Travel Daily Media

In June 2020, Gary Bowerman analysed 20 remarkable pandemic year travel events in Asia that no-one could have predicted.

Rethinking Tourism for a Post-COVID 19 Recovery – Travel Daily News

In March 2020, Gary Bowerman created a 6-point wish list for a travel recovery in Asia.


Asia holds tight on borders, casting cloud over COVID-hit travel – Al Jazeera

Revitalising travel across Asia is a complex process, Gary Bowerman tells Al Jazeera. “It goes way beyond tourism, it goes way beyond business travel. There are so many reasons people travel,” Bowerman said. “They travel for education, they travel to visit family and friends, they travel for economic migration … I don’t think a lot of governments fully understand that, but I think that is starting to hit home.” 

Staycations Are Here to Stay – Asia Gaming Brief

Gary Bowerman told Asia Gaming Brief that before the pandemic, luxury city hotels were upgrading their staycation concepts and adding themed services to entice local residents and weekend-break guests. “This has accelerated over the last 18 months. We are seeing more inventive staycation itineraries, a higher level of customisation, and partnerships with luxury brands and artisanal product makers that promise peerless guest privileges,” he said.

Phu Quoc & Phuket Sandbox Gary Bowerman

“The Phuket Sandbox has made many mistakes. Primarily, it has not enabled the coexistence of domestic and international travellers, and that seems unfair,” Gary Bowerman told Dan Tri Online. “The other key lesson is marketing. Thailand expected that as the first country in South East Asia to reopen, tourists would immediately want to go there. This hasn’t proven to be the case, and the Sandbox marketing has been uninspiring and outdated.”
CNN Business Traveller Interview with Gary Bowerman

Why Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ Pilot Matters to Other Islands in Asia

“Everybody is watching and waiting to see what happens… But a proper recovery of travel in this region can’t happen until the Chinese start traveling again. We don’t know when that’s going to happen. As things currently stand, there are no indications that it will be anytime soon.” Gary Bowerman was invited by CNN Travel to comment on  the potential influence of Thailand’s tourism reopening strategy elsewhere in Asia Pacific.

Where Can You Fly Right Now? Delta Surge Pops Asia’s Travel Bubbles

Seven months into 2021, and Asia’s travel recovery remains stalled by the advance of the deadly Delta variant. In this syndicated Bloomberg article, Gary Bowerman comments on the challenges ahead for governments, airlines, hoteliers and travellers.

Will Changing COVID Travel Preferences Leave IRs in the Cold?

As the pandemic continues to rage across Asia, a full return to international travel is unlikely any time soon. Asia Gaming Brief invited Gary Bowerman to discuss whether post-pandemic travellers will be seeking the same experiences as before the borders closed down.

The Traveling Man

Gary Bowerman chats with former colleague Simon Ostheimer for his Tales of the Orient project to discuss their times in Beijing and Shanghai, and Gary’s career before and since living in China.

What To Know About China’s Vaccine Passport

In February 2020, Beijing-based Jing Travel asked Gary Bowerman to comment on the potential implications of China’s new digital health pass for destinations in South East Asia.

When Will Travel Power Up?

In January 2021 Asia Gaming Brief invited Gary Bowerman to comment on the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s (PATA) three-year visitor forecasts, alongside PATA’s CEO Dr. Mario Hardy and Prof. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, CEO of the China Outbound Travel Research Insititute.

Who Will Come Last in Global Travel’s Staged Recovery?

Gary Bowerman was interviewed by Skift for an article addressing the rise of the “travel bubble” amid a gloomy outlook for the global tourism recovery.

Where Is India Outbound Tourism in Asia’s Post-Pandemic Recovery Order?

Skift invited Gary Bowerman to comment on the future prospects for India’s outbound travel as the nation prepares to assert a greater global influence.

When You Don’t Have Any Domestic Tourism to Rely On: Maldives as a Pandemic Case Study

Skift addressed the challenges and opportunities for Maldives and asked Gary Bowerman to comment as Asian travellers seek safe destinations for post-lockdown travel.

New Beijing Outbreak Keeps Travel Industry on Tenterhooks

In June 2020, Travel Weekly Asia asked Gary Bowerman to assess the latest coronavirus outbreak in Beijing, which deepening worries for the region’s travel industry.

As Asia’s ‘Travel Bubbles’ Fail to Materialize, Travelers Face Prospect of Long Winter at Home

Gary Bowerman provided insights on the state of pandemic era travel and tourism across Asia for CNN Travel

It’s Time to Rethink Travel’s Global Leadership — Starting With WTTC

Gary Bowerman contributed opinions on the future role of global tourism organisations, including the WTTC, in a complex and fragmented global travel landscape for Skift.