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Southeast Asia travel catches up as COVID restrictions ease even further

Google searches for Singapore have jumped approximately 20 percent since the last week of March

The near-simultaneous reopening of borders in Southeast Asia unleashed pent-up demand for tourism. surflover/Shutterstock

Asia Pacific’s tourism recovery is largely driven by Southeast Asia. 

Countries in Southeast Asia have reopened their borders and have begun welcoming residents and all foreign short-term visitors by drastically reducing and even lifting travel restrictions, increasing mobility, as well as a recovery in the hospitality sector.

According to JLL, the near-simultaneous reopening of borders in Southeast Asia unleashed pent-up demand for tourism. More than 580,000 international visitors visited the subregion in January and February 2022, which was an increase of 102 percent year on year (YoY). Due to data limitations, Malaysia and the Philippines are excluded.

This spike at the start of 2022 has prompted Southeast Asian countries to set big goals for the year. Vietnam, for example, expects five million international tourists this year; Thailand, 5.5 million; Indonesia, 3 million; and the Philippines, two to five million.

More: Arrivals double as Thailand eases COVID restrictions

There has been an increase in ticket bookings to popular tourist destinations like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which allow quarantine-free entry for vaccinated travelers again, reported BusinessWorld.

Google searches for Singapore have jumped approximately 20 percent since the last week of March, particularly from Australia, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

After most travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people were eased at the beginning of the month, air passenger traffic to Singapore surpassed 400,000, or 31 percent of pre-COVID levels, in the week ending 17 April.

From 1 April to 27, Thailand had 358,364 visitors. Singaporeans accounted for most of the travellers, followed by the United Kingdom, India, Germany, and Australia. Tourism arrivals are expected to exceed 6.1 million this year, up from 427,869 in 2021.

“April has been a very important month for Southeast Asia,” said Gary Bowerman, director of travel and tourism research firm Check-in Asia. “The optimism is back, people are now thinking and talking about traveling the way they weren’t before. Just look at the search volumes that are happening.”

The Property Report editors wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].

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