Travel Trends: An Update About Asia
Mar 29 / admin@aplbc
Asia has been unique, fragmented and complex at the same time with its multiple cultures and races that make up a big part of the globe. We were brought up with strict ethics, morals and values. With the world modernizing every day, we have learnt and adapted to different ways of communicating and handling multi-cultured needs with respect and honour.
We have been all suffering as a whole with Covid-19 attacking us for more than a year. Many industries have been suffering and struggling to keep their heads above water. Unlike in other regions, countries in Asia have been locked down individually with the hope of controlling the virus to prevent another global breakout.
Within different countries in Asia, some were anxious and others, relaxed, which is evident from the Covid-19 situation was handled. The stigma that Covid came from China has caused a divide and what is important to remember is that we are collectively fighting the same enemy, and collectively working towards a solution to this pandemic.
In China, they acted fast to contain the virus with lockdown and enforced strict measures resulting in the healthy recovery of businesses domestically. Current cases of Covid within China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, USA and UK:
China has been enjoying a fast recovery in the hotel and travel industry since April last year.
In Beijing, daily occupancy sat around 10% for most of the first week of March but climbed to as high as 21.6% at the end of March. Shanghai was as low as 11% on 1 March but reached 28.6% on 28 March. Among the key STR-defined markets for Mainland China, the highest absolute occupancy levels have been seen in Xi’an with 35.9% in March with business from South Korea because of Samsung’s manufacturing factory in the tech zone—expatriates were able to relocate their families to Xi’an when the outbreak hit South Korea. Additionally, Xi’an is one of the redirect destinations for inbound flights scheduled to land in Beijing. Another positive for the industry is that 87% of the hotels in STR’s Mainland China sample are now open after many had closed over the past months.
China with its estimate of 1.4B populations, domestic travel and support made it an easier come back for many hotels and properties. Covid vaccines were available much earlier to key people in the need industries to control the spread of Covid.
Hong Kong, unfortunately, were not able to enjoy the pleasure of this recovery as there is still a border between its one country- two systems rule, similarly to Macau. With its 5th wave of Covid, cases increased within the Hong Kong community recently on March 14, 2021; there were many “ambush lockdown” measures to ensure they control the spread with the hope to regain some normality in the small city. Hong Kongers travelling to China still need to be quarantined but when returning to Hong Kong, this can be eliminated as China is not considered a “safer” place to be.
In other neighbouring countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, there were different ways of handling the Covid. Taking Singapore and Malaysia for example, travelling from Singapore to Johor Bahru in Malaysia was crossing the borders just like from London to Paris. But now, many people are unable to see family or return to work due to the closure of the borders. Similarly between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Macau. Some students were studying across the borders and this became a big challenge as well.
With the vaccines made available and many corporations planning their recovery, there are a lot of projects in place within Asia that create a light at the end of the tunnel in the space of hotels, resorts, parks, serviced apartments and many more.
One of the hottest topics is Air Travel Bubble (ATB) within Asia. The first one was between Hong Kong and Singapore where many were optimistic in Nov 2020 where one could enjoy travelling without being quarantined, but with the cases increasing in Hong Kong, this is still on hold hoping this postpone will not be too long.
The next air travel bubble (ATB) announcing recently would allow residents of Singapore and Australia to travel between both countries without the need for quarantine. International travel routes have remained relatively limited since global borders stayed shut last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Both Singapore and Australia appear to have brought the infection under relative control, while vaccination programs are also underway.
Another intriguing destination is Thailand where many have been to or would love to visit. Thailand Tourism Sector Has Its Sights Set on a July 1 reopening. The effort comes a few weeks after the popular beach destination Phuket laid out its plan to vaccinate its residents to begin welcoming vaccinated tourists by October. It also comes after Thailand started allowing tourists to enter the country, but only if they agreed to stay for several months and underwent a two-week quarantine.
In my recent post about recalibrating , I mentioned that we need to learn how to think, do and act differently in the current climate. I am sure you have heard of the term “new norm” which is not new anymore but how adept are you to it? I am a strong believer that you should consider how you should recalibrate and co-source with partners to co-prosper like what the Prime Minister of Singapore mentioned in the recent interview with BBC.
From a young age, I was brought up to have the grit and not to give up easily to make things work. With this pandemic, I strongly believe and urge that we should act as one united people regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society based on justice and equality to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.
Vaccines don’t have nationalities, and the lion city will use vaccines from any source if they’re safe and effective.
How we plant our seeds now will determine how our next generations will benefit from it. The more we cosource and partner with each other, the bigger we will get and will be able to get a bigger bite in the pie. With trust and transparency, our team, at About Partners Luxury Brands Collection (APLBC) are always ready to help our partner hotels and serviced apartments around the world create ‘wins’!