ITIJ are reporting on all the discussions taking place at ITIC APAC 2022 in Singapore. Read more of the reviews here
Liz began with a brief introduction to PATA, explaining that it’s a not-for-profit membership-based organisation that ‘aims to act as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from, and within, the Asia Pacific region’.
Liz pointed out that while travel was at one point vilified for assisting in the spread of Covid-19, at the same time, hospitality staff were working in quarantine hotels, field hospitals and vaccine centres throughout the pandemic. “Travel has, and will continue to be, a source of job creation,” she told ITIC attendees.
The main focus for PATA right now is initiatives for the successful and sustainable recovery of travel, looking at destination marketing and management, supporting small businesses (which have been particularly hit by the decline in travel due to Covid-19), innovation, community-based tourism efforts, which support local initiatives and bring wealth to local communities, and wellness in travel – she pointed out that most travel involves wellness in some form or other, not just ‘health retreat’ style holidays.
Health-related concerns during travel are now more important than ever before.
Euromonitor research shows that for Asia Pacific consumers, the safety of a destination is now paramount in their decision making process. Liz then moved onto recapping the latest travel restrictions around the world, noting ongoing restrictions in China and Japan negatively affecting the potential for the APAC travel market recovery. Liz invited attendees to join PATA, and other organisations such as Collinson and Virgin Atlantic, in becoming part of the Travel Coalition, which has been created to tackle the issue of global vaccine inequity.
Looking once more at international travel statistics, Liz showed that compared to 2019, inbound travel to APAC in Q1 2022 has fallen by 86 per cent, which is significantly more than is being seen in other parts of the world. Hotel occupancy rates, she added, remain low. The strongest numbers are current being seen in India and Singapore. India is also leading the way in returning to previous levels of airline capacity.
In conclusion, Liz shared details of recent initiatives led by PATA to aid the ongoing recovery of the travel and tourism sector.