News

Comment: Much of Pacific Asia now easier to enter than US

Countries reopening is a ‘golden opportunity’, says Pata agent spokesperson and Kew Bridge Travel director John Cole

The great news continues for Pacific Asia, with nearly all countries now fully open for international travel – making much of the region easier than entering the US.

The most recent positive development is the long-awaited reopening of Laos with no quarantine, testing or travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers. This move follows the reopening of Malaysia and New Zealand.

We also know that Japan is aiming to reopen this summer.

A golden opportunity now awaits travel agents selling Pacific Asia holidays and we are already seeing a resurgence in bookings to the region.

Kew Bridge Travel’s enquiries have returned to at least 80% of pre-Covid levels, with the two most popular destinations being Australia and Thailand.

Both countries have adopted a pragmatic approach to re-starting tourism and their easing of travel rules has driven this increase in interest.

As other destinations follow suit, there will be huge opportunities for agents to sell the region’s much-loved multi-centre itineraries again.

Agents should capitalise on the increasing consumer shift from domestic to international travel this year as travellers start switching from staycations to sunny destinations.

With the Asia Pacific region offering great weather, rich experiences and value for money, it’s a great holiday option.

We appreciate the cost-of-living crisis and the fact that more consumers are becoming more budget-conscious than ever but for those still desperate for a holiday Asia, in particular, offers a premium holiday at a reasonable price and still gives scope for agents to upsell room categories, excursions and experiences.

We know there is still a degree of hesitation in selling, or travelling to, the region because of the stringent Covid-19 measures that have previously been in place but these have very much eased and that is an important message for us to get across.

With the region’s most popular countries open – the aforementioned plus Vietnam, Cambodia, Dubai, Maldives, Singapore and South Korea – Asia Pacific is most definitely back in business.

This is why Pata has ramped up its agent education programme recently, including a return to regional in-person training across the UK with even more events planned.

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.