In breaking news, the final months of 2021 look promising for APAC as Australia prepares to open its borders to international travel and the country resumes flights to Fiji, a destination that was popular with Australians pre-pandemic. Indonesia too plans to open Bali this month to arrivals from feeder markets including Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, while Singapore cautiously opens through such initiatives as a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with Germany. Although we don’t yet see the level of demand we’ve observed globally, specifically across North America or Europe, this momentum for the region builds on steady progress made throughout Q2 during which overall search volume increased just over 5% compared to Q1. We’ll see how these initiatives have impacted travel trends in the next edition of our Travel Recovery Trend Report.
Australia, Fiji, and Bali represent the opportunity for travelers looking to make up for lost travel time to turn a dream trip into reality. All three destinations featured as responses in last year’s Where Next? campaign, which at the height of the pandemic asked our customers where they will go when travel returns. The APAC region was well represented among our global customer base with other ‘bucket list’ destinations cited, including the Maldives, Japan, Thailand, and Tahiti.
This aspiration to travel far and wide could be seen in the growth of searches for destinations across Asia Pacific from customers based in feeder markets outside of the region. For example, searches from North America for APAC destinations during Q2 increased compared to the same period in 2020 and leapt an impressive 56% from Q1 2021. This points to the increasing confidence of recently vaccinated travelers, loosening border restrictions and destinations—such as Phuket—building strategies to re-open, ignite, and manage demand through the COVID-19 recovery.
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