In time for the upcoming Lunar New Year, the team of travel experts at ForwardKeys took a deep dive into the booking trends to South-East Asia. And the results are encouraging on the domestic tourism front. 

“We can see that some Southeast Asian countries have started to ease regulations cautiously. For example, activities with a maximum attendance of 1,000 people are now permitted in hotels, exhibitions, and department stores in most of Thailand. In Vietnam, passengers no longer need COVID tests before domestic flights from 22 January. While Malaysia last week announced standard operating procedures for Chinese New Year celebrations that permits house visits and family reunion dinners between 31 Jan and 15 Feb 2022,” says China Market Expert, Nan Dai.

Domestic Travel in South-East Asia

Forward-looking domestic travel during the holiday travel period (29 Jan – 6 Feb 2022 vs. 2 – 10 Feb 2019), show that for Malaysia and Vietnam domestic travel they are currently just -10% and -33% behind 2019’s level. Domestic travel in other South-East Asian countries is still much behind pre-pandemic levels.

“I believe the ‘Staycation’ type of holiday will be popular during this festive season. According to John Rice, general manager at Shangri-La Singapore, its festive staycation packages have been popular, and the hotel expects to run on high occupancy during Chinese New Year, with locals forming the bulk of the hotel’s guest mix,” adds Bing Han Kee, VP of Sales (APAC).

International Travel in South-East Asia

While some Southeast Asian countries are creating a better condition for people travelling back home during Lunar New Year, international travel is still disrupted by the Omicron outbreak.

Bookings for international visitors in the region during the upcoming Lunar New Year period are still far behind pre-pandemic levels: Singapore: -71%; Malaysia: -77%; Thailand: -94%; The Philippines: -73%; Indonesia: -89%; Vietnam: -96%.


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