PATA UK & Ireland's chairman on the region's state-of-play, capacity, and more
Chris Crampton, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), discussed the growing potential for Pacific Asia and the Far East with Travel Bulletin, with representatives from CHIC Locations and Best at Travel contributing insight into the region's state-of-play.
"The reopening of the final few key holiday destinations in the Asia Pacific brings more excitement and opportunity for agents. The region is definitely one to watch: it's going to be the fastest growing demand wise in the months ahead.
"While it’s been the slowest region to fully return, huge pent up demand means we are already seeing an increase in booking volumes for winter 2022 and into 2023. Most recently, and long awaited, New Zealand and Japan reopened its borders which has contributed to a spike in bookings. Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are also ranking in operators top selling long haul destinations. This is great news for hotels, DMCs and attractions who are finally reporting a sustained source of income from tourism again. Big ticket trips are still popular too, the likes of Australia and New Zealand, as consumers seek big adventures.
"It’s not always about quantity though, Bhutan’s recent re-opening comes with a firm responsible tourism policy – high value, low volume – their sustainable development tourism fee aims to mitigate the negative impact of tourism on the country."
Air Capacity Challenge
"Air capacity remains the region's biggest barrier to immediate growth. There aren’t currently enough flights to meet consumer demand; this, plus fuel prices, is driving up the cost of flights but overall Asia remains good value for luxury beach holidays and experiential trips."
What’s selling for 2023
David Kevan, co-director of CHIC Locations said: "Countries within Asia, particularly Thailand and Malaysia, are providing excellent value for money. Although air fares have increased (worldwide) Asia is very affordable in terms of hotel rates, eating out and other holiday essentials.
Sam Collins, Far East product manager for Best at Travel said: "2022 has been a year of uncertain changes as various countries amended and removed restrictions but this has settled down and consumers have more confidence in the Far East now. The initial rebound to the region has seen a surge in long stay multigenerational villa bookings. Multicentre bookings have taken longer to return but are a huge opportunity now much of the region is open. Last minute bookings are there for 2022 but we’re starting to see long lead bookings for 2023, especially as families seek to secure the best prices, and a lot of enquiries for the next 18 months for honeymoons which provide opportunities to upsell flights, room categories, experiences and tours."
This month sees PATA return with its popular Winter agent training programme including the following events to help you get ahead of the game for 2023’s popular destinations:
• Indian Ocean Virtual Roadshow November 30, 2022
• Australia Online Quiz December 1, 2022