On their days off, tourism chiefs in Asia-Pacific share what they most desire on their wish list for a carefree vacation
Managing director, Tourism Australia
Without question, it’s a relaxed summer break by an Australian coast, some place that is an easy drive or flight away from home. There’s nothing like taking long walks along the beach, swimming, reading a good book and enjoying some of Australia’s exceptional food and wine in a relaxed and pristine natural environment.
Being in Australia means I am spoilt for choice in terms of destinations offering world-class coastal experiences!
Executive director, Hong Kong Tourism Board
I like to explore a destination like a local. A place equipped with a sophisticated transport network and a variety of transport options connecting my point of arrival to any in-town destination (will give me) a worry-free vacation.
As a frequent solo traveller, I put much value on a destination’s convenience and safety as I would be exploring local scenes on my own. I would prefer a place filled with contrasting and mixed experiences, where I can enjoy the urban comforts and discover the green outdoors without having to travel more than an hour.
Mary Wan Mering
Acting chief executive officer corporate services division, Sarawak Tourism Board
For my year-end holiday in Mount Fuji, I have sorted out my flight and accommodation six months ahead as this is also the peak outbound travel season for Malaysia and many other countries.
I wish there will be no queues at the airport or any flight delay and turbulence, but I know this is beyond my control.
What I can do is ensure I bring my power bank and mobile Wi-Fi along so I can still communicate with family and friends while on holiday.
Executive director, Japan Convention Bureau, Japan National Tourism Organization
I wish for a one-stop app for unfamiliar destinations where it is difficult to browse for conveniently located hotels. The app could show a hotel’s distance from
major venues, landmarks and train stations nearby as well as the price of rooms and best transport options from the airport.
At the airport, I would like to receive a map so that I won’t have to worry about the lack of Wi-Fi connection. The best maps would feature street names, hotels, landmarks, train stations, tourist information centres, hospitals and police stations, as well as emergency contacts and useful websites. A multilingual phone service for emergencies would also be wonderful.
Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand
I love to visit Thailand’s beach resort towns like Hua Hin for a great getaway within easy access from Bangkok. The destination offers a range of leisure experiences, from simple to ultimate ones.
My wish is to spend relaxing moments with my family, enjoying fine dining, (visiting) vineyards and enjoying and the cool breeze as the sun sets on the beach. With no need to step out of the resort, I can be in private tranquility while indulging in services like a spa and massage. Also, I will visit a local market at night to sample tasty street food and buy hand-made products.
General manager, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation
I thoroughly research a destination before going there, looking up the best tourist spots and restaurants for local specialties, among other information. This gives me an idea of what to expect, where to go and any dangers or risks that I should be aware of.
It is also imperative to have a flexible itinerary to cater for unplanned activities like catching a few hours of sleep at the beach or exploring hidden streets. I always set a collective goal for my family trips because everyone has different preferences. These help to keep my vacation memorable and, most importantly, stress-free.
Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism
A worry-free holiday should improve the physiological well-being of travellers. From a Sri Lankan perspective, this is exactly what this country is able to offer. Apart from being a value-for-money destination, Sri Lanka has no epidemic or major infectious diseases, great year-round weather and an abundance of natural attractions. And now Sri Lanka has an even bigger advantage of peace, calm and tranquility.