Regional travel to rebound strongly in 2022

Five property and tourism industry top executives in the region give their opinion ranging from revenge tourism, recovery destinations, travel bubbles, and whether it’s time to pick up some property bargains at holiday destinations.

Bill Barnett
Founder and Managing Director, C9 Hotelworks

We are looking at a partial recovery in 2022 and a ramp to get back to where we were by 2024. For 2021, there is light at the end of the tunnel but given time is needed for vaccine passports and bilateral agreements between countries, Q4 looks to be the turning point this year. I believe travel bubbles will start in Asia Pacific in Q4 2021.

Airlift will dictate that, and certainly everyone is looking to Mainland China to be the prime mover, but it’s yet to be seen where they will be allowed to go, it’s a work in progress. My bets are Thailand and Vietnam will rank high in seeing the strongest recovery.

The pandemic has certainly changed the character of the tourism industry. I believe it’s the start of a new cycle, not a new norm. After 9/11, we learnt to fly again, taking our shoes off at the airport and enduring longer travelling processes, that’s likely to happen again. Time changes all and this is likely to be the case again. But in the short term, with baby steps, regional travel will lead the restart.

In terms of investing in holiday destinations, like Bali or Phuket, you want to invest at the bottom of a cycle not the top so we are certainly there now. Buying property is a long term game, so if the fundamentals are strong, certainly there is value in the marketplace now.

Tanah Lot Temple in Bali Island Indonesia.

Atakawee Choosang Head of Capital Market, CBRE Hotels, Tha ila nd

 We are optimistic that tourism shall indeed rebound given the pent-up demand for travel and tourism over the course of COVID-19 pandemic during its initial stages and throughout.

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