COVID-19 Vaccine News Fuelling Asia Pacific Travel Interest
COVID vaccine news is fuelling a new enthusiasm for travel to the Asia Pacific region.
Pacific Asia Travel Association UK and Ireland chairman Chris Crampton also cited the introduction of travel passages to countries such as Cambodia, Laos, UAE and Qatar and Sri Lankan Airlines starting direct flights to the Maldives this month.
He said: “Nobody needs to be told how difficult 2020 has been for our industry, the job losses and business closures attest to what has seemed an unending nightmare for so many.
“But the positive news about vaccine development, and its roll out this week, does allow for some optimism that 2021 will be a better year.
“We have seen airlines begin the process of reinstating routes, tour operators starting to plan for the return of travel to the Asia Pacific region and the public make enquiries about travelling next year.”
He added: “Mid-haul destinations such as Oman and Dubai are proving favourable as the flight time is manageable and they offer relaxing beach holidays with culture and adventure.
“There is pent up demand for Thailand, Sri Lanka and Bali, all excellent value for money holidays and a growing interest in villa holidays as travellers look for more socially distanced friendly accommodation options.”
The consensus in feedback from operator members of the organisation is that news of a vaccine has had a positive impact on business.
Crampton said: “Ethos Travel has reported huge amounts of excitement from clients that now have the confidence to rebook their 2020 travel plans for 2021.
“Chic Locations bookings in November were really strong, their best month since April, largely dominated by the Maldives for departures in the coming months.
“Dubai bookings are also increasing week on week. Experience Travel Group also echoes the popularity of the Maldives and UAE.
“There are still huge challenges ahead but recent developments have injected some much-needed hope. Without a doubt, the road ahead is still a difficult one, but there are grounds for optimism at last.”