Since the start of the year, there has been considerable variation in travel and immigration regulations throughout the Asia Pacific area. Regionally, international connections are strengthening rapidly.
Nonetheless, there is a significant disparity in results among the region’s countries because some of the region’s largest markets are still closed. Relaxed entrance requirements are the primary factor boosting the recovery rate of air travel.
When travel restrictions in one country are relaxed, tourism in neighbouring countries surges. International bookings for travel to Australia soared from 57% of pre-pandemic levels to 90% when the government decided to reopen the country to tourism.
Similar to how bookings have increased by 84% in Indonesia since travel restrictions were lifted in January of this year. Since February, business and tourist visitors to the Philippines have not required a visa to enter the country, prompting an immediate surge in international bookings that has brought the country back to about 50% of its pre-pandemic tally.
However, despite the positive changes in the area, China and Japan remain primarily off-limits to foreign tourists and businesses. Tourist spending in other Asian countries would suffer as a result of these governments’ restrictive travel policies.
Between 2011 and 2019, most Chinese visitors went to Asian countries. Only two of the top 10 destinations for Chinese tourists were not in Asia: France and the United States. It is estimated that 1.7 million of the 1.9 million Chinese visitors who left the country in Q1 2022 went to Macau, the only place within China that could be visited without requiring a quarantine upon return.