It’s January. This should be peak season for travel across South East Asia. But 2022 is not starting as a ‘normal’ year.
Instead, as we prepare for a third year of living with COVID-19, the impending spread of Omicron dominates the economic and social discourse across the region. Shards of light for travel and tourism glistened briefly back in November 2021, but most borders are once again closed or heavily patrolled. The same applies throughout much of Asia Pacific.
So, Gary and Hannah kickstart the third year of the podcast by updating the current situation in 9 of the 10 ASEAN countries (in order of appearance): Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
The important Lunar New Year holiday period looks like being domestic-only again this year, and a washout for intra-regional travel - but what are the prospects for the rest of the first quarter of 2022?