Ep 162: The Top 10 Travel & Tourism Talking Points in South East Asia in January 2023

About This Episode

2 Feb 2023 β€’ 30m06s

2023 is a vital year for travel and tourism in South East Asia and Asia Pacific. January was a fascinating kick-start month for the region’s visitor economies. China reopened its airport gates, albeit gradually, the Lunar New Year launched the domestic and outbound travel calendar and tourism boards set out their (initial) 2023 visitor forecasts.

On today’s show, Gary and Hannah review January’s Top 10 travel talking points and discuss what they could mean for the 12 months ahead. The journey takes us to 9 countries around the region.

En route, we assess the return of Chinese tour groups to 7 ASEAN countries, discuss airport capacity in Vietnam and Thailand and address an administrative bottleneck for the Laos-China train.

Plus we talk sales tax refunds in Philippines, tourism villages in Indonesia, sky-high hotel rates in Singapore and two Malaysian Prime Ministers challenged in the courts over an aborted high-speed rail project. Phew!

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Ep 168: Mini Update - China Restores Inbound Tourism & Expands Outbound Travel

China began reopening to international travel on 8 January 2023, but the impact so far has been gradual. There are various reasons, including the Chinese government’s decision to phase the scaling up of outbound travel capacity. From today, 15 March, outbound group package tours are permitted to 60 countries worldwide. Independent travellers are, of course, free to travel globally. Also from today, China will begin issuing tourist entry visas, and has reestablished visa-free access to Hainan Island and for cruise passengers docking in Shanghai.