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The South East Asia Travel Show
35 minutes | 2 days ago
What's the Future for Tourism Research & Education?
How will tourism research and graduate education adapt and diversify post-COVID? This week, Gary and Hannah discuss the outlook for travel and tourism across South East Asia from an academic perspective with Prof. Joseph Cheer of the Center for Tourism Research at Wakayama University in Japan, and Dr. Mary Mostafanezhad, Associate Professor at University of Hawaii at Manoa. The broad-ranging interview discusses how travel may look in the early recovery phases, the challenges of educating a new generation of tourism professionals in uncertain economic times and whether the travel and hospitality sectors will continue to engage with universities in future. We also discuss the expected Chinese outbound and ASEAN intra-regional travel rebounds, low-cost carriers, short- and long-haul flying and travel bubbles. Plus, voluntourism, environmental sustainability and resort over-development, plastic trash and air pollution. It’s a fascinating chat.
38 minutes | 10 days ago
Reopening. Reopening. Reopening.
How will governments use COVID-19 vaccine programmes to revitalise travel and tourism? This week, Gary and Hannah debate the latest tourism reopening proposals in South East Asia and beyond. These include moves to welcome vaccinated travellers in Thailand, Bali’s ‘COVID-free Corridor’, and the likely reboot of the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble. We also discuss a proposed ‘Calibrated’ reopening in India, the ‘Bio Bubble’ tourism initiative in Sri Lanka and ‘Vaccine-to-Go’ travel in Cuba – and their relevance to South East Asian markets. Plus, Costa Rica revives ‘Visa-Free Access’ for Chinese travellers, ‘Vaccinated students’ from China and ‘One-Way Travel Bubbles’ in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Can vaccines be successfully used to unblock pathways to a travel recovery? And what will travel look like – is it going to be both ‘Safe & Secure’ and ‘Controlled & Restricted’?
32 minutes | 17 days ago
7 Months Since Reopening in the Maldives, with Ruth Franklin
It’s 7 months since the Maldives reopened for visitors in July 2020. The Indian island archipelago nation is being considered as a successful case study for COVID-era tourism – but how has it adapted to a changed world, and what lessons has it learned? This week, Gary and Hannah chat with Ruth Franklin, Co-founder of Secret Paradise Maldives, which focuses on local island experiences beyond the luxury resorts. In a candid and insightful interview, Ruth discusses the pre-COVID opportunities and the processes and protocols implemented to reopen for inbound travel. We discuss the future of sustainable tourism, tailor-made island experiences and guest house stays, plus the growing appeal of long-vacation travel. We also talk about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, the potential for vaccine tourism – and what needs to happen for the Maldives to achieve its goal of attracting 1.5 million visitors in 2021.
31 minutes | 24 days ago
Is it Time to Rethink Chinese New Year Tourism Marketing?
Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, Lunisolar New Year, Spring Festival and Tet – this week's show talks all things travel for the upcoming holiday. In recent years, Chinese New Year brought a welcome surge of inbound visitors from China into ASEAN, and stimulated strong intra-regional and domestic trip volumes. This year, CNY is a purely homegrown travel scenario. In some countries - like Malaysia - inter-state travel is not even permitted, while COVID-19 infection spikes are impacting domestic travel in Thailand, Vietnam and China. Confidence in travel across the region may be at its lowest point since the pandemic struck - for what is normally a joyful and vibrant time to take a vacation. As South East Asia confronts a second consecutive CNY under the shadow of COVID-19, should travel marketers rethink their approach to public holiday tourism in future? Plus, will shifting societal factors in China impact the future flow of CNY visitors into ASEAN and other Asia Pacific destinations?
33 minutes | a month ago
The Complexities of Airline & Aviation Regulations in ASEAN & Asia Pacific, with Michelle Dy, AirAsia
The aviation industry continues to face immense challenges caused by the pandemic. This week, Gary and Hannah address the current state of aviation policy and regulation with Michelle Dy, Manager, Global Affairs & Policy at AirAsia. This broad-ranging chat looks at the history of aviation development globally and in South East Asia and Asia Pacific. A long-standing objective has been to establish an ASEAN Single Aviation Market - so what progress has been made, and what could a Single Aviation Market mean for airlines, airports and consumers? And how does the scale and scope of Chinese airlines impact this strategic objective? We also discuss how COVID-19 will impact the regional aviation landscape in 2021 and beyond, the challenges for domestic air travel and enduring border closures across the region. With COVID-19 vaccine rollouts commencing, should airline staff be treated as essential workers, and will all air travellers require inoculation?
32 minutes | a month ago
Planning a Tourism Turnaround in Malaysia
Malaysia is one of the most-visited countries in South East Asia, but its inbound arrivals have been largely stagnant for a decade. Despite recording strong growth from China in the pre-pandemic years, other key markets were slowing. Over the past year, the nation's robust domestic travel sector has attempted to step up, but stop-start lockdown restrictions have hampered its overall impact. Borders have remained shut since mid-March 2020. Moreover, the three airlines Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo, are confronting financial troubles and the KL-Singapore high-speed railway has been cancelled. To escape the rut, Malaysia has published a broad-ranging 10-year National Tourism Plan that aims to breathe new life into inbound travel once the borders reopen. This week, Gary and Hannah discuss the myriad challenges facing travel and tourism across Malaysia, and the solutions and strategies being proposed to stimulate the sector right up until 2030. Find out more about The South East Asia Travel Show and view our back catalogue at www.theseasiatravelshow.com and join in the daily discussion at www.linkedin.com/company/the-sea-travel-show
31 minutes | a month ago
Reconnecting the US & Asia Through Travel, with Sandra Thomas-Comenole
This week, Gary and Hannah chat with Denver-based travel marketer, behavioural economist and podcaster Sandra Thomas-Comenole. During a varied career, Sandra has worked with several international travel brands, including InsideJapan Tours, Croatian Tourism and the US National Parks Service. In a fascinating interview, she discusses how behavioural economics can help guide travel marketers through an uncertain 2021, the pitfalls of traveller sentiment surveys and the impending leadership challenges should tourism rebound at a rapid rate. We also discuss the current state of destination marketing in the US, and some of the opportunities for engaging more closely with Asian markets and travellers to accelerate the economic recovery. After being overlooked as a priority economic sector by several US administrations, does the Biden-Harris ticket offer new hope for travel and tourism funding, strategy development and implementation for tourism in the US?
31 minutes | 2 months ago
What is ASEAN & Why is it Important for Travel & Tourism?
It's all about ASEAN! This week, Hannah and Gary take a journey through the history of ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations. Established in 1967, ASEAN brings together the 10 countries of the hugely diverse region of South East Asia. Since founding the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, ASEAN has positioned itself as a "Third Force" in Asia Pacific, after China & India. Will it expand further (Timor Leste, Australia?), and why is ASEAN integral to the newly signed RCEP trade agreement in Asia Pacific? Most importantly, how will ASEAN influence the future of the aviation, cruise, travel and tourism sectors in a post-pandemic world? Will there be an ASEAN Air Travel Bubble, and can South East Asia really be promoted as a single tourism destination? Show notes here: https://www.theseasiatravelshow.com/episodes/ep-51-what-is-asean-why-is-it-important-for-travel-tourism/
64 minutes | 2 months ago
What is the Realistic Outlook for Travel in South East Asia in 2021?
What are the realistic expectations for travel and tourism in 2021 in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines & Vietnam? Which will be the primary 'comeback markets', and what will be the influence of mega markets like China, India and the Middle East? Plus, will vaccine rollouts prove to be a magic bullet or a harbinger of false hopes? Are Travel Bubbles dead? And when should travel players start to diversify from their domestic-only strategies and prepare for the return of international travel? This special edition of The South East Asia Travel Show features a webinar debate between Gary, Hannah and Brett Henry, President of Jakarta-based MG Group - as we set the scene for travel and tourism in South East Asia during the transitional COVID-19 phase.
27 minutes | 2 months ago
21 for 2021: A Travel Industry Wish List For The New Year - Part II
In the second of a two-part appraisal of travel and tourism in South East Asia in 2021, Gary and Hannah run through numbers #12 to #21 on their 21-point wish list. "Cautious Optimism" is a widely used phrase, but tightened restrictions in Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong and, most likely in Malaysia, suggest 2021 is going to be another challenging year. Topics discussed include creating long-term strategies for domestic travel, more imaginative approaches to marketing self-drive and culinary tourism, and increased attention on climate change and earth-friendliness in travel. Plus, can hotels and airlines be more flexible, more innovative and introduce new services while keeping down staff and operational costs?
34 minutes | 2 months ago
21 for 2021: A Travel Industry Wish List For The New Year - Part I
2020 was an awful year, but do we just write it off and discard it, or should we dig deeper to understand how travel and travel consumers have changed? What are the meaningful lessons to learn and apply? Gary and Hannah kick off 2021 by running through a 21-point wish list to revitalise travel and tourism in South East Asia. Topics discussed in Part 1 include adapting the learnings from domestic travel, a broader remit for tourism industry stimulus packages and competing on destination differentiation rather than price slashing. We also how ask how technology can be used more effectively, address the the "Urban" vs "Nature" and "High Yield" vs "Mass" tourism debates, and look at the prospects for vaccine rollouts, and the dreaded 14-day quarantine. Plus, what will be the role of National Tourism Boards in the post-pandemic era - are they still relevant, or should tourism planning and development be decentralised?
31 minutes | 3 months ago
2020: Looking Back On The Year That Changed Travel Forever
To round-out 12 months that no-one will ever forget, Hannah and Gary quiz each other about the travel and tourism issues that dominated 2020. Among the topics discussed are domestic tourism, travel bubbles, the absence of Chinese travellers, Zoominars, slimmed-down airlines, the future of visas, self-drive travel, political travel propaganda, sustainability, 'revenge spend', the future of cruising, PCR and antigen tests, quarantines and vaccine passports. We also select our favourite podcast moments of 2020, and the questions we were both asked most frequently on webinars and interviews. Looking ahead to 2021 and beyond, we attempt to answer the ultimate question: "When, realistically, will international travel return to a sustainable level?" Spoiler alert: Hannah is more optimistic than Gary. Roll on 2021!
36 minutes | 3 months ago
“It Will Take Upwards of 5 Years to Recover,” with Simon Westaway, Australian Tourism Industry Council
It’s been a torrid year for travel and tourism in Australia. This week, Gary and Hannah chat with Simon Westaway, Executive Director of the Australian Tourism Industry Council. In a candid and insightful interview, Simon discusses a broad sweep of inbound, outbound and domestic travel issues. From the 'Black Summer' bushfire season, Australia quickly encountered COVID-19 with the first infection in late January. The show addresses Australia's key 2020 developments, including the Ruby Princess, border bans, hotel quarantine outbreaks, state border politics and domestic travel in the summer season. With national borders closed until at least March 2021, we look ahead to the vaccine rollout, potential travel bubbles and selected cohorts that might feature in a phased recovery. Key markets, such as China, New Zealand and South East Asia, also merit a mention. Australians are famously adventurous travellers, and Simon also looks to some high-priority destinations once they are able to take overseas trips again.
31 minutes | 3 months ago
Welcome to the Age of Vaccine Travelnomics
With over 200 COVID-19 vaccines undergoing clinical trials or early-stage development, and the first vaccines now approved in the UK and Russia, the era of Vaccine Travel is about to unfold. It will bring a tangle of economic, political and social complications. Amid this nascent landscape, the travel industry is trying to forge a way ahead. Already Qantas has said it will require passengers to be vaccinated, while Singapore Airlines and Garuda will be involved in vaccine logistics in South East Asia. Meanwhile, governments are sourcing a cocktail of vaccine supplies from East and West. But what happens when a single-dose vaccine finally gets approved? Will this change everything? This week, Gary and Hannah analyse the current vaccine procurement situation in South East Asia and Asia Pacific, and look ahead to 2021, the Year of Vaccine Travelnomics.
29 minutes | 3 months ago
"No-one's Wearing Masks Any More in Laos," with Jason Rolan, RDK Group
Before the pandemic, Laos was starting to expand its nascent tourism industry with a surge in arrivals from China and strong visitation from Thailand and Vietnam. Outbound tourism was also booming, But while the pandemic halted those upward curves, Laos has only recorded a total of 39 (yes, thirty-nine!) cases of COVID-19. So what's it been like to live and work in the tourism sector in a genuinely COVID-safe country? This week, Gary and Hannah chat with Jason Rolan, editor-in-chief of Laos Airlines’ in-flight magazine, senior partner at RDK Group, and former country manager for EXO travel, Khiri Group and Buffalo Tours. In this fascinating chat from KL to Vientiane, Jason discusses his involvement in a government campaign to boost domestic trip demand, and his own travels around a tourist-free country. Looking ahead, we analyse the potential impact of the Chinese-built Vientiane-Vang Vieng Highway and the China-Laos High-Speed Railway, which is set to open in late 2021. We also touch on the future of eco-tourism and the challenges ahead for the Laos tourism sector in 2021.
33 minutes | 3 months ago
What Next After The Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble?
The Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble kicks off on Sunday 22 November, but concerns are resurfacing across Asia about volatile new COVID-19 waves. Soon after the ATB was launched, Asia's media was rife with speculation about which other countries might launch travel bubbles - either with or without Singapore and Hong Kong. But they seem no nearer to fruition. This week, Gary and Hannah scan the region for signs of travel bubble activity, and report the latest from Australia and New Zealand where hopes for a two-way bubble in 2020 are starting to recede. Plus, there's news of a 'private' travel bubble between Qatar and Maldives, and an assessment of the long-mooted ASEAN Travel Corridor. Will it ever happen?
33 minutes | 4 months ago
Singapore & Hong Kong Embark on an Uncharted Era of Travel
Singapore and Hong Kong are both important Asian aviation hubs, commercial centres and travel destinations. But they aren't - or weren't - key source markets for each other in terms of travel and tourism. So, will the Air Travel Bubble create new patterns of travel demand, or is it simply a small stepping stone towards an uncharted era? This week, Gary and Hannah discuss the (pre-COVID-19) travel landscapes of both cities and the vital roles that aviation, airports and airlines contribute to their economies. We also dissect the fine details of the new Air Travel Bubble, and analyse its potential impact in both destinations. And might this agreement catalyse more regional bubbles in South East Asia and beyond - and, perhaps, kickstart concurrent bubbles for Singapore and Hong Kong?
18 minutes | 4 months ago
The Friday Rewind 8: Indonesian Flights Boost, Seoul SEA Showcase & Cambodia's Tuk-Tuk DJs
In episode 8 of The Friday Rewind, Gary and Hannah zip through this week’s 5 top talking points in South East Asian travel and tourism - in less than 20 minutes. This week's hot topics include: Hungarian Foreign Minister Tests Positive in South East Asia Philippines Sets a Ceiling Price for COVID-19 Tests Indonesian Flights Take Off in October ASEAN-Korea Tourism Pavilion Opens in Seoul Tuk-Tuk DJs Tour Phnom Penh in Style
19 minutes | 4 months ago
The Friday Rewind 7: High-Speed Trains, More Bubbles & 'Jurassic Park' Dragons
In episode 7 of The Friday Rewind, Gary and Hannah zip through this week’s 5 top talking points in South East Asian travel and tourism - in less than 20 minutes. China features prominently this week, with the topics under discussion being: Thailand Teams With China for a High-Speed Rail Take Off Cambodia Wants a China Travel Bubble, or Does It? Laos Plans Fast Track Travel for China & Vietnam 'Jurassic Park' Dragons Are Endangered in Indonesia Malaysia’s Tourism Challenges Keep Multiplying
32 minutes | 4 months ago
The Troubles With Travel Bubbles
It's 6 months since Australia and New Zealand first floated the concept of Travel Bubbles. Ever since, it has dominated travel talk as a potential way to safely reopen borders between two countries without requiring a quarantine. But the 2020 travel realities (and the coronavirus itself) have made bilateral bubbles extremely difficult to negotiate, agree and implement. This week, Gary and Hannah discuss the different definitions of air travel bubbles, corridors, fast tracks and green lanes. They also assess three high-profile travel bubbles - Hong Kong-Singapore, Australia-New Zealand and India-Maldives - which illustrate the political, geographical, public health and operational challenges that stand in the way of more agreements.
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