The South East Asia Travel Show

Deciphering South East Asia’s Hottest Travel Recovery Buzzwords

As optimism returns to South East Asia, travel players, tourism boards and the media frequently cite a bunch of hot buzzwords. Several regularly used phrases also remain from the two-year travel shutdown. So this week, Gary and Hannah discuss the evolving lingo of travel, and assess which terms and phrases will endure, and which might just be a sign of the times. The show journeys from Pent-up Demand and Revenge Travel to a Bookings Bounceback via Visa-on-Arrival and Endemicity. We also talk tech with the Metaverse, NFTs and Cryptocurrencies, and touch on new Tourism Megaprojects, Hotel Sustainability Basics and Ultra-Long-Haul Air Travel. Plus, we recall the buzzwords discussed on Episode 6 in February 2020, and discuss which ones remain relevant and which dropped off the radar.

April Sees South East Asia Get Upbeat About Travel!

Optimism is returning. South East Asia’s incremental, and dramatically drawn out, travel reopenings are finally nearing ‘all systems go’ status. This week, Gary and Hannah review the latest travel developments from across the region. In particular, there is great news for travellers to (and from) Thailand and Singapore. Plus, some impressive regional aviation statistics, and strong domestic travel outlooks in Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Malaysia. Gary also reports on his first international flight for two years, from KLIA to London Heathrow - and the contrasts he encountered in the two airports. In summary, this is probably our most upbeat podcast since we launched in January 2020. 

Talking All Things Travel & Tourism in Thailand in 2022, with Vincent Vichit-Vadakan

Time flies. It's 10 months since we were debating the merits (or otherwise) of the proposed Phuket Sandbox. But that was then - the Phuket Sandbox started on 1 July 2021 - and this is now. A great deal has occurred in Thailand's travel sphere since then. And more changes await up ahead - including the likely removal of a PCR test on arrival. But what is the outlook for Thai tourism in 2022? This week, Gary and Hannah welcome back Bangkok-based travel journalist Vincent Vichit-Vadakan to talk all things travel and tourism in Thailand. Vincent has been travelling domestically in recent weeks and reports back on what he has observed. He also updates us on Thailand's latest arrivals figures and the timeline for easing the Test & Go entry rules. We also discuss the key takeaways from a recent seminar Vincent hosted in Bangkok featuring Thai Airways and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Plus, we talk mask mandates, Songkran, airport protocols, new hotel openings and Thailand's domestic travel stimulus. And, we look back over a truly dramatic year in South East Asia's most visited country.

South East Asia Travel & Tourism Braces for Long-Term Impacts of the Russia-Ukraine War

Travel and tourism is slowly getting back on its feet in South East Asia after two long years. The economic dislocations of the pandemic are having consequences for the supply and demand of travel throughout the region and across Asia Pacific. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added an entirely new, and far-reaching, context. In addition, the Covid-19 lockdowns in China will have economic implications worldwide. So this week, Gary and Hannah sift through the potential impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war for travel, tourism and the regional economic outlook. This is a complex issue. There are innumerable unknowns, both now and in the future, but dark clouds are starting to gather. We break down the show into 4 key sections: 1) The enduring effects of COVID-19; 2) The Initial & Current War Impacts on Travel & Tourism in South East Asia; 3) The Looming Economic Headwinds; and 4) The Big Questions Up Ahead. We cover plenty of ground, from jet fuel price volatility to interest rate rises, fears of worsening food inflation to re-routed long haul flights and revised visitor arrival projections to a shifting focus toward the Indian travel market. And are there lessons to be learned from Sri Lanka's economic collapse? Plus, will tourism boards step up their domestic travel promotions, how will they adapt their international marketing strategies - and can intra-ASEAN travel markets hold up the sky?

 

 

The show analyses the responses of South East Asian governments to protect their currencies and combat the looming spectre of inflation. We look at the impact on jet fuel costs and the pricing of travel, the 

Destination Myanmar: Assessing the Impacts of the Past Two Years, with Argus Tuft

What is the travel outlook for Myanmar after COVID-19 and 14 months after the military coup? And what is daily life like in Yangon, the nation's largest city? Today, Gary and Hannah are joined by Argus Tuft, who is a long-time resident of Myanmar, and an experienced operator across the aviation, travel and marine sectors. He also made TV documentaries in Australia. Argus is currently working as an independent consultant in Yangon advising local and overseas nationals and expat residents on returning to or leaving Myanmar as international flights have not been operating for the past two years. We discuss the varied impacts of the past two years on the economy in general and the travel industry, which was growing fast before the pandemic struck. Argus also addresses speculation that Myanmar is preparing to reopen to business travel and perhaps leisure tourism. We also discuss airlines, pearl farming, archipelago living, river cruising, ballooning and superyachts, and Argus shares a few hidden treasures in this beautiful country which sits at the intersection of South and South East Asia. 

Two Years of Travel Disruption, Part 8 - Take-off for South East Asia’s New Travel Reality, with Dan Lynn, ZUZU Hospitality

South East Asia's travel landscape is reshaping, and we're ready for take off! Travel activity is re-emerging across the region, and the travel industry is preparing for a recovery to start in earnest in the second half of 2022. The final edition of our 8-part Two Years of Travel Disruption series is perfectly timed, as both Singapore and Malaysia prepare to fully reopen on 1 April. To bring together the impacts of the past two years and anticipate an exciting, and volatile, new era of travel and hospitality, Gary and Hannah are joined by Dan Lynn, co-founder of Singapore-based ZUZU Hospitality. Dan’s career includes management roles with Expedia, the AirAsia-Expedia joint venture and eLong – and he previously joined us on the show in late November 2021. Combining the latest data with insights from South East Asia's protracted quest to restore travel and tourism flows, we check the outlook for destinations, airlines, airports, hotels and OTAs. We also discuss the absence of the Chinese market and the drivers of deeper digitalisation across travel chains. Plus, how soon will testing be dropped across the region, and where will South East Asia's inbound and outbound sectors fit into a global travel recovery in 2022. 

Two Years of Travel Disruption, Part 7 - Vietnam Kickstarts a New Tourism Era, with Mike Tatarski, Vietnam Weekly

Vietnam’s reopening has been one of the most talked-about in South East Asia, and also one of the most unpredictable. Even until to the scheduled reopening date on 15 March, the terms of the reopening had not been published. However, the entry procedures are now looking very promising, and Vietnam is ready to welcome back tourists. So, on this week’s show, Gary and Hannah talk all things travel and tourism in Vietnam with Ho Chi Minh City-based Mike Tatarski, who is Editor-in-Chief of Saigoneer and founder and producer of the Vietnam Weekly newsletter. We discuss the outlook for inbound, outbound and domestic travel, and address proposed investments to expand Vietnam’s airport capacity. Plus, will the North-South high-speed railway come to fruition?

Two Years of Travel Disruption, Part 6 - South East Asia Steps Up The Return of Travel!

This week, Malaysia announced its reopening date, and Bali made it easier for travellers to visit. Singapore expanded its VTL scheme to more countries and cities. These developments reflect a general stepping up the return of travel across South East Asia. More hurdles still exist, however. The region's travel landscape remains patchy and bureaucratic, and travellers face an avoidable administration burden. Progress is being made, though. On this week's show, Gary and Hannah take a tour around the region to assess the changing inbound, outbound and domestic travel situations in South East Asia's key markets. We also address the unfolding impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on travel to and from South East Asia. Plus, finally, some positive financial news from one of the region's major airlines. 

Two Years of Travel Disruption, Part 5 - Australia Targets ASEAN Markets, with Brent Anderson, Tourism Australia

For much of the pandemic, 'Fortress Australia' isolated itself from the world. Now, after a rapid vaccine rollout, its borders are open. Tourism Australia is prioritising key South East Asian markets and airlines to help drive its recovery. So, this week, Gary and Hannah chat all things travel and tourism Down Under with Brent Anderson, Regional General Manager, South East Asia, of Tourism Australia. From his Singapore base, Brent explains how Australia developed its marketing campaigns to find opportunities as this new era of travel commences, and the importance of entertaining digital engagement. Rebuilding airline connectivity and capacity will be a challenge, and mass travel will take time to recover - but Tourism Australia has clearly set out its priority markets and segments. Brent explains why Western Australia's reopening on 3 March is vital for the South East Asian VFR market, and hopes for an upswing of self-drive "pick your own adventure" trips. Plus, which are Australia's "Rising Star" inbound markets, and how will it cope with the absence of Chinese visitors? And when and where will Australian outbound travellers be heading this year?

Two Years of Travel Disruption, Part 4 - Pandemic Travel Experiments That Failed

Who remembers the "one billion visitors by 2024" prediction? How about GeNose testing, the Special Tourist Visa and the Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble? It's been a long two years of the pandemic, and various attempts have been made to revive travel in South East Asia. In Part 4 of the Two Years of Travel Disruption series, Gary & Hannah rewind through 2020 and 2021 to pick out the travel proposals, initiatives and experiments that didn't get off the ground - or, if they did, faded from view. En route, we recall Singapore's "contract signing speed dating" project, a spurned sandbox in Cambodia and the absence of promised airline support in Thailand. Plus, what happened to the Malaysia-Indonesia VTL, why did Indonesia backtrack on banning backpackers, and will there ever be an ASEAN Travel Corridor - or at least mutual recognition of vaccine certificates between the 10 member countries?

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