Two Years of Travel Disruption: An 8-Part Series, Parts 1-4

Two Years of Travel Disruption: An 8-Part Series, Parts 1-4
Blog Published on 11 Feb 2022

As South East Asia approaches two years since the Great Pandemic Travel Shutdown began, signs of a gradual revival are emerging across the region. But the impacts on the travel and tourism industries are severe.

Over the next 8 weeks, Gary Bowerman and Hannah Pearson will produce a series of shows with the help of regional experts. Together, we will assess the changes delivered by the pandemic, expected changes up ahead – and changes that should, but probably won’t, happen at all.

Part I

To kick things off, Gary and Hannah created a 15-point list of evident shifts across travel and tourism since March 2020. These range from huge job losses, business closures and lasting damage to travel infrastructure to the rise of the SuperApps - and from shifts in the ‘quality’ vs ‘mass’ tourism debate to uncertainties around the return of business travel.

Plus, what’s the future for travel insurance, and have we see the back of over-tourism?

Part II

The prolonged closure of Bali has been a global media case study for the two-year decline of travel in South East Asia. As it slowly reopens, Gary chatted to Bali-based Stuart McDonald, Founder of independent travel information company Travelfish.

Stuart describes what has (and hasn’t) changed across Bali, including popular destinations like Canggu, Ubud, Kuta and Candi Dasa. Having taken a recent trip to Flores, Stuart also discusses ongoing development in Labuan Bajo - one of Indonesia’s Super Priority tourism investment destinations - and changes under way at the Komodo National Park.

Part III

On 17 February, the day after Singapore announced a promising acceleration of its Vaccinated Travel Lane programme, we were joined by Singapore-based Karen Yue, Group Editor of TTG Asia. In a broad-ranging chat we discussed the impacts of the past two years, Singapore’s transition towards a complete border reopening, and how different travel and tourism segments are preparing for the return of ‘normalised’ travel.

Part IV

Governments and tourism boards have unveiled various initiatives to try and revive travel since borders closed in March 2020. Gary and Hannah wind back across the past two years to assess the experiments that failed to get off the ground - or faded from view - during the pandemic. These range from Thailand’s Special Tourist Visa to a spurned Sandbox in Cambodia and Indonesia’s backtrack on banning backpackers to Bali… plus much more.

Click to listen to Ep 123: Two Years of Travel Disruption, Part 4 - Pandemic Travel Experiments That Failed

View All Blog Posts

Latest Episodes Catch up with the pods you may have missed

Play
27 May 2022 • 37m15s

Ep 134: South East Asia Seeks to Build Momentum For A Travel Recovery

Traveller Covid testing requirements are finally gone - so can South East Asia now build momentum for a sustainable tourism recovery? May was a positive month across the region, but the landscape is still evolving. Travel volumes and outlook optimism vary throughout South East Asia. Familiar destinations are leading the return of tourism, while bookings are slower elsewhere. This week, Gary and Hannah recap the key developments during May, and look forward to the second half of 2022.
Play
11 May 2022 • 25m34s

Ep 133: Laos Reopens to International Tourists, with Jason Rolan

We’ve been talking in recent weeks about the pieces of South East Asia’s travel jigsaw being put back together. But a Laos-shaped hole remained. That gap has now been filled. Laos reopened to international travellers on Monday 9 May. This week, Gary and Hannah welcome back Vientiane-based Jason Rolan to discuss the tourism challenges and opportunities ahead for this beautiful landlocked country. Jason talks about the new regime for e-visas. He also explains which airlines are preparing to return to Laos - and which new routes might be developed.