The South East Asia Travel Show

Tourism & Climate Change in Asia, with Alexander Trupp, Sunway University

"We wanted to create a status quo assessment of tourism and climate change in Asia, where research has been limited." This week's show tackles a white-hot issue for the travel industry: how to address carbon emissions and global heating. The impacts of climate change are all around us in South East Asia, with a recent report citing Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam as particularly vulnerable to climate risks. This week, Gary chats with Alexander Trupp, Associate Dean of Research & Postgraduate Studies at the School of Hospitality & Service Management, Sunway University in Malaysia. Alex is co-author of a new paper, called Tourism Under Climate Crisis in Asia: Impacts and Implications, published in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Alex sets out the facts and stats that show how urgent is the climate crisis across Asia, and discusses specific vulnerabilities for travel and tourism in each sub-region. He also addresses the collective efforts required to bring change, and initiatives being put in place by the tourism industry to transition toward more sustainable travel.

The Top 10 South East Asian Travel & Tourism Stories This Week (#2)

"We are in a real period of flux, globally and regionally right now." On this week’s show, Gary and Hannah sift through the 10 top travel and tourism stories in South East Asia over the past 7 days as regional and global economic factors take hold. The journey takes us to Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam & the Philippines, plus New Zealand and India. En route, we discuss tourism entry fees, fly-cruise travel, new flight routes, overland travel and NTO slogans. Plus, our regular "Quality Tourism" update discusses some disparaging comments about backpackers by New Zealand's Tourism Minister - and a vociferous pushback from the nation's travel industry.

Checking Malaysia’s Travel Recovery Pulse, with Tunku Dato Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah

“Both Malaysia and ASEAN have been generally dependent on the Chinese outbound market, so we need a conscious and strategic shift to other markets.” This week, Gary and Hannah bring it home to Malaysia to discuss the emergent travel recovery with special guest Tunku Dato Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah, Group Executive Chairman of Melewar Group. An experienced tourism industry leader in Malaysia, Tunku is a life member of ASEANTA and a Former President of PATA. We take a detailed look at the landscape for inbound, outbound and domestic travel, and the outlook for corporate travel and MICE. We assess the impacts of human resource challenges, a low supply of airline seats and high-priced air tickets on the early-stage recovery. With the Chinese market still absent, which source markets should Malaysia focus on to attract more visitors? Plus, how are customer booking trends changing, and what are the key challenges for Malaysia – and ASEAN – in the second half of 2022, and into 2023.

Domestic Travel & Tourism Lead the Recovery Across South East Asia

A promising outlook for domestic travel and tourism is emerging across South East Asia. This week, Gary and Hannah take a trip through Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia and Laos to assess some of the key issues around domestic travel as the regional recovery takes shape. Homegrown tourism kept the travel industry afloat during the border closures of 2020 and 2021 – and into 2022 in some countries – and continues to evolve. Governments  are recognising its importance to national economies, and are putting in place policies to support future development. At the same time, the cost of travel is rising in some countries, both for local and inbound travellers, as post-lockdown economics gain a sharper edge. So will we see more targeted research and qualitative studies into domestic travel behaviours and demographics in the second half of 2022 and into 2023?

Assessing Asia Pacific’s Travel Recovery Outlook, with Liz Ortiguera, CEO, PATA

Assessing the broader regional picture is vital to tracking travel and tourism flows in, out of and around South East Asia. So this week, Hannah and Gary approach the ongoing travel recovery from a pan-Asia Pacific perspective with special guest Liz Ortiguera, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Liz  took on this high-profile position in May 2021, a highly challenging point in time for countries throughout Asia Pacific. She explains the challenges across the past year and the emerging opportunities for travel businesses and travellers, and the direction PATA will navigate for its members in future. We also discuss PATA's international visitor forecast scenarios through 2024 and the return of in-person conferences and events. Plus, we address vital issues such as diversity and inclusion, vaccine equity, climate change and strategies to de-plasticise the planet.

The Top 10 South East Asian Travel & Tourism Stories This Week (#1)

On this week's show, Gary and Hannah sift through the 10 top travel and tourism stories in South East Asia over the past 7 days. The journey takes us to Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, plus Brunei and Timor Leste, about which we don't talk nearly enough. En route, we discuss tourism fees and visitor price hikes, annual arrival forecasting and booster vaccine travel requirements. We also ask when ASEAN will welcome its 11th member, and pass through the only country in the region not yet fully open to visitors. Plus, who is enabling tourists to "leave your shoes with us," and which is the latest country to jump on the "tourism villages" train?

Charting Cambodia’s Aviation Recovery, with Stephen King, Cambodia Airports

"Phnom Penh has come back strongly as the main air gateway to Cambodia." Cambodia has been at the forefront in South East Asia for removing Covid-19 restrictions for visitors. Its three international airports handled 11.6 million passengers in 2019, and Cambodia is eager to revive its airline sector to support a tourism recovery. This week, Gary and Hannah welcome Stephen King, Chief Commercial Officer at Cambodia Airports, to discuss the progress in the first half of 2022 and the outlook for the rest of the year. Stephen discusses passenger traffic at the three gateways, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, new infrastructure developments, the impact of China's absence from regional travel and efforts to attract more airlines and routes to Cambodia. We also discuss the key inbound markets, Cambodia's changing approach to destination marketing, and the sustainability initiatives Cambodia Airports intends to implement.

The Top 12 Travel Talking Points in South East Asia & China in 2022 So Far

“The slew of [Chinese government] policy changes has prompted an increase in flights, with airline companies racing against each other to resume international flights with China.” Breaking developments in China mean the second half of 2022 in South East Asia will be dominated by the quest to entice back Chinese tourists. But how did we get here? This week, Gary and Hannah discuss the 12 key travel and tourism developments that define 2022 to date - and set the scene for a stronger recovery in the second half of the year. Our journey takes us to Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Bali by way of China, India, Japan and South Korea. We also discuss the return of cruise travel in the region, the jet fuel and human resource challenges, overland travel growth and a busy 6 months for domestic tourism. Plus, what challenges and opportunities await for the remainder of the year?

Positive Vibes in Phuket One Year After the Phuket Sandbox, with Sumi Soorian of the Phuket Hotels Association

"Time has really flown in the year since we started the Phuket Sandbox." Exactly one year ago, on 1 July 2021, Thailand initiated the Phuket Sandbox to kickstart inbound travel after 16 months of tourism inactivity. Four months later, it was replaced by the Test & Go Scheme. Phuket is now buzzing. A mix of domestic and inbound tourists saw it welcome 1.7 million visitors in the first 5 months of 2022. This week, Gary and Hannah discuss Phuket's impressive progress with Sumi Soorian, Executive Director of the Phuket Hotels Association. Sumi discusses how the hospitality and tourism sectors have adapted over the past 12 months. We also discuss shifts in Phuket's key inbound markets and interesting trends in meetings, weddings and domestic travel. Plus, we look at human resource challenges for hotels, shorter booking windows and room rates and occupancy. Now, as Thailand removes virtually all of its pandemic restrictions, what is the outlook for Phuket 12 months after it pioneered the revival of tourism in South East Asia?

Is Bali Tourism Back on Track? With Simona Chimenti & Melina Caruso of the Bali Hotels Association

"Since the end of March, the landscape of travelling to Bali has changed dramatically. It's much easier to travel here now." This week, Gary and Hannah check on the current state of tourism in Bali with Simona Chimenti, General Manager of The Pavilions Bali and Marketing & Media Relations Director of the Bali Hotels Association, and Melina Caruso, Technology & Marketing Consultant for the Bali Hotels Association. After a slow start, Bali is welcoming back visitors from around the world, but is anxious to attract more flights to boost arrivals. The Ministry of Tourism & Creative Economy is targeting 1.5 million international arrivals in 2022, while domestic visitors are arriving in big numbers. Melina and Simona discuss the latest travel updates, including key visitor markets, hotel occupancy and room rates. Plus, we touch on emerging trends in hotel stays, human resource deficits and automation and digitisation of hotel services. And, we look ahead to the G20 Summit in November, and Bali's recovery outlook for the next 18 months. 

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