The South East Asia Travel Show

22 for 2022: A Wishlist for Travel & Tourism in ASEAN - Part II

A new year brings new hopes … and plentiful new challenges. So (roll the drum…) it’s time for Part II of our third annual travel wish list show, which this year we are calling ’22 for 2022’. Gary and Hannah have put together a list of 20 ways in which travel and tourism could get better in 2022, plus two ideas submitted by our learned listeners – to make a total of 22. In Part II, our travel wishes include: governments start communicating with common sense, not in vacuous acronyms and proxy terms; domestic tourism stimulus packages assist players across the value chain; and the tourism industry is seen as an attractive once again for fresh grads. Plus, should all tourism businesses be required to set and publish zero emissions targets? Will the  travel media be more responsible with its pandemic terminology? And when will travel be fun again?

Producing Travel Shows in Lombok, with Josh Edwards

The beautiful Indonesian island of Lombok has long sat in the shadow of its neighbour, Bali. Things may change in future, as the coastal region of Mandalika has been prioritised by Indonesia's government for tourism infrastructure development. On today’s show, Gary chats about capturing travel on camera in different Lombok locations with Senggigi-based independent filmmaker Josh Edwards. Josh’s career took a twist during the pandemic, as he relocated from the UK to Lombok and set about producing an engaging travel show series called The Lombok Life. Season 1 featured broad-ranging documentaries filmed in the Gili Islands and at the Bayu Nyale Festival. He also climbed Mount Rinjani, and interviewed his local guide about his experiences climbing the volcano during the 2018 earthquake. Josh is currently shooting Season 2, and promises new episodes covering local cuisines, coral reef restoration and the Mandalika motor-racing circuit, which will host the Indonesian Moto GP in March. We also talk about the recent floods in western Lombok, the scale of development in Mandalika - and his work with an environmental foundation that organises beach clean-ups and helps protect Lombok's mangroves and reefs.

22 For 2022: A Wishlist for Travel & Tourism in ASEAN - Part I

A new year brings new hopes ...  and plentiful new challenges. So (roll the drum...) it’s time for our third annual travel wish list show, which this year we are calling ’22 for 2022’. Gary and Hannah have put together a list of 20 ways in which travel and tourism could get better – and surely, it really must get better – in 2022. We also added two extra ideas submitted by our learned listeners – to make a total of 22. The show is separated into two halves. In Part 1, our travel wishes include: a separation of border control from tourism management; a recognition that quarantines are unworkable; the word “reopening” will disappear from our vocabulary; and a more nuanced understanding of the value that backpacker tourism brings to South East Asia. Plus, the travel industry must confront the fact that two years of Covid-19 have changed many things. Some of these changes will be temporary, but some might be permanent.

2022: The Current State of Travel & Tourism in South East Asia

It's January. This should be peak season for travel across South East Asia. But 2022 is not starting as a 'normal' year. Instead, as we prepare for a third year of living with COVID-19, the impending spread of Omicron dominates the economic and social discourse across the region. Shards of light for travel and tourism glistened briefly back in November 2021, but most borders are once again closed or heavily patrolled. The same applies throughout much of Asia Pacific. So, Gary and Hannah kickstart the third year of the podcast by updating the current situation in 9 of the 10 ASEAN countries (in order of appearance): Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. The important Lunar New Year holiday period looks like being domestic-only again this year, and a washout for intra-regional travel - but what are the prospects for the rest of the first quarter of 2022?

2021 in Review: The Good, The Bad & The Delta Variant

This time last year, our 2020 in Review show described it as “12 months that no-one will ever forget.” We  could say exactly the same for 2021. Long periods of lockdown throughout South East Asia, stop-start domestic travel, governments moving forwards and backwards and strict border policies in place. There were a few bright spots, but not as many as hoped for, or perhaps expected. So, for the 2021 in Review show Gary and Hannah created a list of 10 events and developments that will always remind us of this year, plus 4 more that bubbled just beneath. The only spoiler alert is in the headline of this podcast - so, please listen and let us know your thoughts and comments on our selection of the 10 definitive impacts on travel and tourism in South East Asia in 2021. Roll on 2022!  

The SEA Travel News Show: What’s it Like Flying From ASEAN to Australia in a Pandemic?

As the world awaits definitive scientific conclusions about the transmissibility and viral impact of Omicron, travel developments in South East Asia have been few and far between. Governments continue to be cautious and defensive. On today’s show, we’ve got the latest updates from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, where a “will it, won’t it?” drama is playing out regarding the phased reopening for international flights. So what is it like to travel from South East Asia to Australia during a time of such uncertainty and administrative overload? On today’s show, Gary chats with Melina Caruso, Business Development Director of the Bali Hotels Association, who recently completed a roundabout journey from Bali to Melbourne, via Jakarta and Singapore – and back. From her quarantine hotel, Melina talks in detail about the multiple new challenges for making trips that we once took for granted. She also provides valuable insights for anyone preparing to embark for the first time during the pandemic.

The SEA Travel News Show: South East Asia Retreats from Travel (Again!)

This was the week that Omicron caused the return of flight bans, quarantines and an overall retreat from travel across South East Asia. It now appears that Singapore has recorded the region’s first cases. We've got the latest updates from the Philippines and Indonesia, as they turn away from travel reopenings. More optimistically, the first US-Vietnam direct commercial flights by a Vietnamese carrier landed this week. The pandemic has disrupted every aspect of travel and tourism over nearly two years, including the work of NGOs. Gary chats with Ho Chi Minh City-based Sophie Hartman, Regional Coordinator for the Association of Southeast Asian Social Enterprises for Training in Hospitality & Catering. Asset H&C brings together vocational training centres in four ASEAN countries to help vulnerable young people to learn new skills in sustainable hospitality and tourism, and has just published a responsible travel guide in local languages for its training schools. To finish, we've got clips from this week's The South East Asia Travel Show, in which Gary and Hannah tackle the emerging issues as countries across South East Asia and worldwide erect new travel barriers 

Omicron Strikes Fear into South East Asia

Here we go again! “Omicron’s very emergence is another reminder that although many of us might think we are done with COVID-19, it is not done with us," said the WHO this week. The emergence of a new 'variant of concern' is striking fear across South East Asia after the damage the Delta variant caused earlier in 2021 - and continues to cause in some countries of the region. Omicron events have already moved quickly, as governments around the world erect new travel barriers and quarantines come back into fashion. On today's show, Gary and Hannah assess the current Omicron situation across South East Asia, Asia Pacific and beyond. We also discuss the potential direct and indirect impacts on the region's gradual reopening, which was starting the gain momentum until late last week. What could the new variant mean as the Christmas/New Year and the Lunar New Year travel periods draw near? Plus, might this present new opportunities to scale up regional travel agreements and prevent the recent progress from descending into a retreat from travel?

 

The SEA Travel News Show: Riding the China-Laos Railway

The spectacular country of Laos has been overshadowed as more prominent destinations in South East Asia grab the reopening headlines. Laos has tentatively set in motion its own reopening plan – and is about to make its mark on the global news agenda with the opening of the China-Laos Railway. For the latest news from Laos, Gary chats with Jason Rolan, who is Senior Partner of Vientiane-based RDK Group. We have news about the upcoming land border Vaccinated Travel Lane between Malaysia and Singapore and the latest on the Philippines' reopening plans. Plus, concerns in Vietnam as its limited scale reopening coincides with a resurgence of COVID-19 infections nationwide. Hannah dials in to report on the first MATTA Fair, Malaysia's largest consumer travel show, for two years. We finish the show with an upbeat forecast about the travel outlook for 2022 in South East Asia by Dan Lynn, Co-founder of Singapore-based Zuzu Hospitality.

Checking the Travel & Hotel Booking Pulse in South East Asia, with Dan Lynn

As the 2021 festive travel season draws near, the green shoots of recovery are emerging, even if South East Asia's reopening landscape remains patchy. On today’s show, Gary checks the region's travel and hotel booking temperature with Dan Lynn, Co-founder of Singapore-based Zuzu Hospitality. Dan’s career also includes senior management roles with Expedia, the AirAsia-Expedia joint venture and eLong. We discuss how Zuzu refocused its services to meet the shifting operational challenges of its hotel clients during the pandemic, and into the early days of recovery. We also talk about the way forward for online travel booking in South East Asia. Plus, how will Singapore's Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme further evolve, how can Thailand and Cambodia build on their recent restarts - and which ASEAN country is "on the cusp" of a scalable travel reopening? We finish by assessing the outlook for 2022, and the prospects for the greater normalisation of travel for a new era.

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