India, Indonesia, Philippines are likely to be the laggards in tourism recovery: ANZ Research

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The tourism sectors of India, Indonesia and the Philippines are likely to be the laggards among countries trying to revive the travel industry, a report released by ANZ Research has said.

Since most countries are now past the worst of their Covid-19 outbreak, restrictions on travel are being eased and appetite for travel would gradually return, the report said. But in the three aforementioned countries, the number of active coronavirus cases continue to rise, making recovery difficult.

Tourism in the region is entering the recovery phase, but the pace of this recovery [would] depend on the evolution of the pandemic and the corresponding responses of governments to it.

“Economies that have a combination of falling active virus cases, as well as sizable domestic and outbound tourism markets, could also do relatively better, such as Malaysia,” ANZ Research said.

“If international travel resumes, long-haul trips are likely to be the slowest to recover. Within Asia, Thailand has the largest exposure to foreign visitors outside the region relative to the size of its economy,” it added.

The report also said that while there was now a “glimmer of hope,” the sector would still face massive headwinds.

“In the absence of widespread vaccination, fears of new waves of infections will persist. As such, control measures in terms of travel and business operating capacity are likely to be lifted only gradually,” it added.

“The appetite for travel is also likely to be weaker relative to the pre-pandemic period, not only due to the confidence effect, but also because health protocols, such as mandatory health certificates and quarantines, may be required.”

The sector’s recovery will also be “long and arduous,” ANZ Research said.