The number of overseas visitors to Asia-Pacific slumped by 84% year-on-year in 2020, which is the equivalent of 300 million people, according to the World Tourism Organization.

With the region’s economy heavily dependent on tourism, industry players and national governments have been taking steps to revive trade by promoting domestic travel and shopping, especially for the important Lunar New Year festival.

What steps are being taken across the region?

  • For the first time in Thailand, the Lunar New Year will this year be a public holiday in a bid to encourage domestic travel, Nikkei Asia reports.
  • This will build on the Thai government’s programme We Travel Together, which first launched in July 2020, allowing Thai tourists to pay just 60% of normal hotel room rates with the government subsidising the rest. The Thai government will also cover 40% of the cost of airline tickets.
  • Meanwhile, hotels and shopping malls in Thailand are offering their own discounts. Supermarket chain Tesco Lotus, for example, is offering free delivery for purchases of more than 100 baht over the Lunar New Year.
  • The Singapore government has launched a travel subsidy campaign, offering all adult Singaporeans a digital voucher worth S$100 dollars (US$75) which can be used at local hotels, tourist attractions and other venues. Many hotels are also offering Chinese New Year takeaway and delivery meals in the hope of attracting business.
  • Hotel chains in Indonesia, such as TAUZIA Hotel Group, are offering consumers a discounted “pay now, stay later” option.

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Sourced from Nikkei Asia