East beats West in travel industry recovery as Covid-19 continues to challenge the sector
The travel industry in Asian countries has been recovering faster than in Europe and in the US, as the entire world tries to shrug off the after-effects of the still-raging Covid pandemic.
However, the region’s recovery has mostly been boosted by domestic traveling, according to John Brown, the CEO of online travel agency Agoda, as quoted by CNBC.
“We’ve seen again in markets like Taiwan, certainly places like Thailand, where they really have the best control over Covid – those are the markets where we see the domestic bookings doing the best,” Brown said.
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Taiwan, which managed to avoid any new transmissions for over 200 days, has seen a significant decrease in new cases of Covid-19 over the past two weeks. Thailand and Vietnam have also succeeded in containing the pandemic with 3,922 and 1,316 reported infections, respectively.
Agoda, a subsidiary of American online travel firm Booking Holdings, also said those markets have even outpaced their own results from last year for domestic travel only.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on the hospitality and tourism industry, as hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, attractions, museums were forced to close, while weddings, conferences and sports tournaments were barred by most countries.
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Due to the latest positive signs of recovery for the long-suffering sector, Agoda reportedly expects the international demand to come back.
According to Brown, domestic travel also looks “relatively good” in Europe and the US despite surging Covid-19 cases.
“But really, all eyes globally are looking at Asia to see how we manage this both domestically, and again with regard to the travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong, and the many others that we hope…will open up pretty soon,” the executive said.
Hong Kong and Singapore were planning to allow quarantine-free leisure travel on Sunday, but after another surge in cases in Hong Kong the decision was postponed.
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