Eighteen months into the COVID pandemic, and we’ve been through so many changes. At the time that I’m writing this, the Delta variant is making its way into most states in the U.S. as well as most countries around the world. After a rather successful period with low rates of infection in 2020, the markets I focus on in Southeast Asia have been hit quite hard with multiple spikes in 2021. In fact, at this point last year most industry experts were expecting Asia to reopen first, ahead of the Americas and Europe. In the middle of 2021, the opposite appears to be true.
Having landed in Las Vegas a few months before the pandemic started in early 2020, I hadn’t expected the length of time the pandemic would affect the global market. In discussions with tourism leaders in Asia in recent months, we discussed the many changes in how governments address the peaks, vaccines and re-opening plans.