Sleepless in Asia: Destination developments keep chugging on

Some of these developments will help to push traveller traffic away from the usual popular haunts – so important in a safe-distanced, post-pandemic world – and into areas that can stand to benefit from some tourist income.

Producing this special co-branded TTG Asia and TTG Asia Luxury issue sparked much joy for me because every piece of content on our pages focuses on what’s moving positively in the travel and tourism industry.

We know what the tough headlines are, and we know that our challenges will take a while to resolve. So, for now, let’s focus on the developments that are still happening throughout the travel and tourism landscape.

Across Asia, fresh attractions and activities have been rolled out – with more to come throughout 2021 and 2022, much to the delight of local residents who are in desperate need for uplifting entertainment to satiate their wanderlust.

Developing a destination product to excite locals is no easy task. How do you appeal to people who believe that they have seen all there is to be seen in their backyard? And if these are well-travelled people, the bar is raised even higher – can your product be more alluring than what they had experienced overseas?

It is interesting to observe the range of new draws that have emerged. Hong Kong is set on a culture and heritage route, providing a nice contrast to its urban landscape. Japan is playing up its scenic, natural environment and wide open spaces, presenting even more points of appeal for outdoorsy folks.

City-state Singapore appears to be transforming into one big playground for the young and young at heart. In fact, Singapore Tourism Board is working to enthrall young families and children, to build their desire to visit when it is possible. It recently launched a seven-part animated mini series for children in India, where popular comic character Chhota Bheem takes his birthday party to Singapore and shows off some of the destination’s most iconic locations and experiences.

Over in Vietnam, secondary destinations have come into the limelight while in Macau efforts to reposition herself for families continue.

Some of these developments will help to push traveller traffic away from the usual popular haunts – so important in a safe-distanced, post-pandemic world – and into areas that can stand to benefit from some tourist income.

Amid the creation of all things bright and shiny, it is heartening to see that tourism authorities have not forgotten their commitment to build back tourism better and in a more responsible way that benefits the environment and local communities for generations to come. Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand are setting with good examples.

Another positive development for the travel and tourism industry is the growing population of high net worth individuals across Asia-Pacific. Their travel desires have only intensified throughout the travel freeze. The luxury travel market is clearly still buzzing, with many buyers moving now to restart travel programming for their VIP clients. The strong interest to participate in July’s ILTM Asia-Pacific is proof.

As initial travel resumption would be pricey and time consuming to prepare for, the industry will need to count on luxury travellers – those with the resources to navigate the complex web of post-pandemic travel regulations – to lead recovery.

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