Will history record that August 2021 was the month when travel returned to government agendas? It was certainly an eventful month in South East Asia as governments recognised that COVID-19 will be endemic, and that they must plan accordingly. Accelerating vaccination rollouts remains a priority, and a big challenge - especially for countries with large populations, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. This week, Gary and Hannah review the 6 top talking points in travel and tourism during August, and bring each one right up to date. Malaysia saw a government fall and a new Prime Minister installed who announced a pilot reopening for vaccinated domestic travellers in Langkawi. Thailand turned its inbound attentions to Bangkok and updated its Phuket Sandbox statistics. Singapore shifted its focus to Vaccinated Travel Lanes, but is fighting more local infections. In the Philippines, a moratorium on casino tourism investment in Boracay was removed, the flag carrier entered Chapter 11 and confusion surrounds the issuance of digital vaccine certificates. And so to beautiful Bali, where more mixed messaging emerged about its 'will it, won't it' reopening plan.
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