Ep 87: 2021: The Year So Far in Laos, with Jason Rolan

Listen to this episode
View All Episodes

About This Episode

4 Aug 2021 • 30m00s

The spectacular country of Laos has been overshadowed as prominent destinations in South East Asia attempt to reopen for travel and tourism. Laos, however, has tentatively set in motion its own reopening plan.

So, this week, Gary and Hannah tackle developments in the year so far in Laos with Jason Rolan, who is Senior Partner of Vientiane-based RDK Group. Jason was last on the show in November 2020, when Laos was COVID-safe. Since then, infection waves have disrupted the nation’s Zero Covid strategy, and brought movement restrictions. That said, Laos remains a case study of successful containment in South East Asia.

With international borders still closed, Jason describes some new trends in domestic tourism over recent months, including self-drive trips and Insta-travel. We also assess how the economic slowdown is hampering travel activity.

And, of course, we delve into transport infrastructure projects, including the Vientiane-Vang Vieng expressway, plus the China-Laos high-speed railway. This inaugural part of China’s ambitious pan-ASEAN railway is slated to become operational on 2 December, Laos National Day. Will it start on time, and what benefits could the new train line deliver for inbound travel from China, And how could could super-fast rail travel transform domestic vacations in Laos?

View All Episodes

Latest Episodes Catch up with the pods you may have missed

Play
25 Nov 2022 • 32m10s

Ep 156: This Week’s 8 Top Travel Talking Points in South East Asia

The G20 Summit. A proposed aerotropolis. Resolution of a long-running passport saga. A new direct flight service with Canada. It’s been another busy period for travel news as the region’s recovery gains traction. This week, Gary and Hannah discuss the top 8 travel and tourism developments from across South East Asia. The journey takes us to 8 of the 10 countries of ASEAN, plus Japan, China, India and Taiwan. So, which country expects 60 million domestic travellers over Christmas and New Year?
Play
5 Nov 2022 • 31m53s

Ep 155: South East Asia Starts to Reopen for Travel - One Year On!

Test & Go. Vaccinated Travel Lanes. ‘The Most Open Country in South East Asia.’ One year ago, on 1 November 2021, Thailand introduced the Test & Go tourism entry policy. In the same month, Singapore accelerated its Vaccinated Travel Lanes and Cambodia made travel easier for visitors than anywhere else. This week, Gary and Hannah rewind to November 2021 – the month that reignited travel in South East Asia after 20 months of lockdowns and labyrinthine travel restrictions.