Destinations in Asia awaiting the return of tourists from China with
their enormous potential to turbo-charge tourism economies in the
region, might do well to heed the words of Emirates president Tim Clark.
He recently summed up the likely impact of the return of China’s
tourists, saying the dropping of Covid-related curbs in the world’s
second-largest economy would trigger a “tsunami” of bookings.
“At some point, China will unleash demand for travel the likes of
which we will not have seen for a long, long time,” Clark said in
Berlin. "The longer they press the cork down in the water, the greater
the velocity of return.”
Clark said Emirates flights to Asian destinations that have already
reopened, such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in
Vietnam, are “essentially full”.
The question now is: Will destinations in Asia be ready for the
‘tsunami'?Hotel, airlines, tour operators face being overwhelmed once
the flood gates open.
Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn said
recently that TAT is accepting the challenge of rebounding tourism
numbers and is embracing Thailand’s new direction for tourism under
which TAT is laying the foundation for a tourism industry that is
“customer centric and values experience tourism”.
“TAT is encouraging more collaboration among players both inside and
outside of the industry and embraces innovation to develop and promote
sustainable tourism products and create a tourism business ecosystem
that offers mutual benefits to all parties,” the TAT governor said.
TAT is forecasting 10 million international visitors this year and a return to 80% of tourism revenue in 2023.