The South East Asia Travel Show

The Current State of Airlines in ASEAN, with Brendan Sobie

Airlines have felt the brunt of the collapse of international travel in South East Asia since borders were closed in March 2020. This week, Gary and Hannah talk all things aviation and airlines with Singapore-based Brendan Sobie, founder of Sobie Aviation. We discuss the varying challenges facing flag carriers in South East Asia, including Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, Garuda Indonesia and Philippine Airlines. Also, how can LCCs manage to survive if an international travel recovery doesn’t occur any time soon? Against this backdrop, new airlines are making applications to operate, so could the aviation market in Asia Pacific look very different in the coming years? Plus, we talk about the new EU-ASEAN Air Transport Agreement and compare the 2021 outlook for long-haul and short-haul markets. Finally, we assess whether the Phuket Sandbox - and the phased reopening of Thailand - presents a viable model for other countries to welcome back vaccinated leisure travellers.

June in Review: Delta Variant Derails Tourism Planning

June 2021 proved to be a another difficult month for governments, citizens, companies and travel policy planners. The fast-spreading Delta variant caused previously COVID-safe countries to take stricter precautions, and worsened the situation in nations still battling to contain the coronavirus. Governmental travails impact every aspect of daily life, work and leisure throughout the region. On the first edition of a new monthly review show, Gary and Hannah look back on 6 headline travel talking points across South East Asia, and beyond. Of course, the Phuket Sandbox and the postponement of Bali's reopening to inbound travellers feature prominently. We also discuss proposed moves to reboot educational travel, compare the current travel situations in Asia, North America and Europe, and analyse a new US venture by one of South East Asia's high-profile tourism players. And which travel operators applied before the deadline for one of Malaysia's soon-to-be-issued Digital Banking licences?

South Korea Emerges As Asia’s Most Exciting Travel Market, with Dr Jaeyeon Choe

While most Asian borders remain locked, South Koreans are heading off on summer holidays to European destinations. They are also booking ahead for Lunar New Year 2022. So what are the reasons behind this unexpected renaissance in one of Asia's largest outbound travel markets? This week, Gary and Hannah welcome Dr Jaeyeon Choe, Visiting Professor at the School of Hospitality & Tourism at Hue University, Vietnam, and a sustainable tourism consultant for Insita Bali, Indonesia. Jaeyeon discusses recent innovations in domestic tourism, including "one-month stay" packages, camping and outdoor cooking tutorials. Now, with an accelerating vaccination rate, Koreans are eager to travel overseas once more. Ordinarily, this time of year would see large numbers of summer vacationers flying to South East Asian destinations, so will ASEAN's allure remain in future? [Spoiler Alert: Vietnam and the Philippines are hot picks.] We also talk about innovative booking trends, such as flexible packages and gamified TV travel promotions, an ongoing travel agency revival - and the rekindled passion for travel among Korean honeymooners.

Preparing Hotels for a New Travel Era, with The Phuket & Bali Hotel Associations

As Phuket and Bali prepare to welcome back international tourists, how are hotels in both destinations getting ready for the vaccinated travel era? On this special edition, Gary and Hannah are joined by Brad Edman, General Manager of Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa &, representing the Phuket Hotels Association (PHA), and Jean Heliere, General Manager of Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach & Chairman of the Bali Hotels Association (BHA). In this in-depth chat, Brad and Jean discuss the deep impacts of COVID-19 for the hotel sectors on both islands, and how Association members have reacted by reaching out to domestic travellers. We also discuss the new health, hygiene and safety standards being put in place, and shifts in marketing and community outreach strategies. Plus, which destinations are the PHA and BHA looking to as case studies for reopening to tourism, which inbound source markets will they target, both initially and longer term, and which airlines might provide the all-important airlift. Finally, how are the two hotel associations sharing insights and intelligence to help rebuild the visitor economies of these popular South East Asian island getaways.

A Roadmap For Tourism Reopening in Cambodia, with Nick Ray

How do you go from filming Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie at Angkor Wat to writing travel guides for Lonely Planet and producing travel video content for Cambodia's Ministry of Tourism? Pretty easy for Nick Ray, Principal at Hanuman Films, Lonely Planet writer for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and an ecotourism consultant with the World Bank. This week, Hannah and Gary chat all things travel, tourism and film production in Cambodia with Nick, who has lived and worked across the country for over two decades. During this compelling chat, we discuss how Cambodia is preparing a Roadmap for Tourism Reopening in collaboration with private sector travel operators. We also chat about intriguing developments in domestic travel during the pandemic, opportunities in culinary tourism and the future role of video content in destination marketing. Plus, we find out how Nick managed to film footage for a BBC TV travel show and a National Geographic series during lockdown, and learn about a fascinating ecotourism project in the the beautiful Cardomom Mountains. Finally, which inbound markets might Cambodia target for its planned reopening to inbound tourists later in 2021?

 

Travel Reopening: Is it Only About Inbound Tourists?

Inbound vs Outbound vs Domestic. With Phuket and Bali focused on attracting international visitors, how will outbound and domestic travel be incorporated into tourism planning across South East Asia in future? After 15 months of border closures and a reliance on domestic travel only, Gary and Hannah discuss how Thailand and Indonesia are leading the charge to reboot inbound tourism. Domestic travel, though, appears to have assumed less importance. Meanwhile neither country is looking yet at attracting travellers from fellow ASEAN countries, as outbound travel remains static due to government restrictions. What, for instance, will Bali's plan to welcome back vaccinated and non-vaccinated foreign tourists mean for domestic travellers? And which other countries might also look to bring back inbound travel to the region? Cambodia perhaps? Vietnam? And who would be their target markets? And what are the near-term prospects for intra-ASEAN travel, which accounted for around one-third of annual arrivals into there region in 2019? Oh yes, and what about travel insurance premiums? And visas? And digital passports? It's a packed show!

Will Phuket Reopen on 1 July?, with David Luekens

Thailand, and specifically Phuket, is central to tourism discussions in South East Asia right now. To check the inbound reopening pulse, Gary and Hannah chat with David Luekens, Bangkok-based travel journalist and creator of the Thai Island Times newsletter. The discussion looks back on the various proposals by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Thai government to reboot tourism over the past year, and the reasons for the failure of the Special Tourist Visa. David also discusses the stop-start nature of domestic travel over recent months, and the impact of the recent COVID-19 outbreaks. With Thailand expected to confirm the Phuket Sandbox reopening programme soon, we assess the challenges and opportunities both for Phuket, and Thai tourism more broadly. We also look at the strategies of destinations such as Koh Samui and Chiang Mai, and David updates us on the progress of Thailand’s vaccine rollout out a it starts to gain momentum

The Past, Present & Future of Golf & Casino Tourism in ASEAN, with Bill Healey

Golf and casino tourism were booming across South East Asia and Asia Pacific before the pandemic - but both sectors face an uncertain future. This week, Gary and Hannah chat with Bill Healey, a hospitality, golf and casino tourism expert who has lived and worked in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Bali. Bill was developing an Asian golf trip booking app in Cambodia before the pandemic struck, and returned to the US expecting to return within a few months. In this fascinating chat, Bill reflects on the growth trajectories of golf and casino tourism in the region over recent years, and the various challenges being faced now and potential opportunities in future. We also talk about vaccine passports, contactless hotel services and revenue management applications. And with Bill currently being based in Las Vegas, we get his take on how casino tourism is recovering along the world-famous Vegas Strip.

Will Bali Reopen in July?, with Stuart McDonald

Will Bali reopen for inbound tourism next month? This week, Gary and Hannah are delighted to welcome back Stuart McDonald, Bali-based founder of Travelfish, to talk all things travel and tourism in Bali and beyond. Bali originally planned to reopen to international tourists last September, but that was postponed. It’s now aiming for July 2021, but will it happen? Much relies on two things, getting sufficient residents vaccinated and finding inbound markets that will permit their citizens to visit Bali. Stuart discusses how COVID-19 has impacted travel businesses and daily life around Bali, the outlook for domestic tourism and the current economic situation in Bali and Indonesia. He also addresses the ‘Digital Nomad Visa’ and ‘Work From Bali’ proposals, potential competition for visitors with Phuket and media articles about the behaviour of foreign visitors in Bali's beach towns. We also assess the challenges for reopening tourism elsewhere in South East Asia, such as Singapore, Cambodia and Laos, and the prospect of tourism adopting a more sustainable stance in future.

6 Reasons Why Travel Remains on Hold in South East Asia

When is travel going to restart? And is South East Asia actually going backwards? While Bali and Phuket seem steadfast in their desire to reopen their borders to vaccinated visitors in July, much of the region continues to struggle to contain resurgent waves of COVID-19. Travel at the moment, in some countries, appears a lower priority than it did two or three months ago. Against this backdrop, governments know that competition to attract travellers will intensify in the near future and no country wants to get left behind. So, this week, Gary and Hannah discuss 6 key reasons for the slow national and regional progress in rebooting travel and tourism. En route, we ask and answer the following questions: Will Singapore's recent tribulations have knock-on effects in the region? Is this the end of the line for Travel Bubbles? What is being done to speed up vaccine programmes? Is travel for the foreseeable future only likely in decentralised destinations, like islands? And which countries might reach a 70% vaccination threshold in 2021?

 

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App