reveals untapped tourism opportunities in Malaysia & Asia at WEF 2024 – Travel

Friday, January 19, 2024

Favorite Group, a leading global travel service provider, is actively embracing emerging trends and opportunities in the post-pandemic travel scenario by contributing valuable insights at the World Economic Forum (WEF). Ms. Jane Sun, the CEO of Group, shared her positive outlook on Asia’s sustained growth and offered insights into China’s investment potential during the Standard Chartered Bank Asia Panel titled “Asia – the world’s next growth anchor?” held at the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland from January 15 to 19.

Amid the convergence of influential figures from government, business, and civil society at the Davos summit, the Standard Chartered panel brought together key stakeholders to explore the exciting prospects and challenges emerging in the Asian market. Ms. Sun was joined by Mr. Geoff Lee from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Mr. Roy Gori, President and CEO of Canada’s largest insurance company Manulife. The panel was moderated by Mr. Ben Hung, CEO of Asia at Standard Chartered Bank.

As global tourism steadily recovers, Group has observed robust booking interest in Asia, with Thailand, Japan, and South Korea ranking among the top travel destinations. Increasing consumer income has fueled trends such as high-quality wellness experiences and event tourism, particularly for popular events like concerts and music festivals.

A significant shift towards sustainable tourism is underway, with more than 16 million Group customers opting for low-carbon travel options, including environmentally friendly hotels. The Group has also prioritized choices like rental of electric vehicles and flights with lower carbon emissions.

Focusing on China’s post-pandemic economic trajectory, Ms. Sun emphasized the potentially underestimated investment opportunities. She highlighted thriving sectors like travel, wellness, and entertainment, citing China’s vast size, variable buying power, and diverse industries as sources of promising investment opportunities.

Ms. Sun expressed confidence in the growth of the travel and tourism industry, citing positive developments such as increased flight capacities and expanded visa-free arrangements, facilitating international travel to and from China. She highlighted recent visa-free policies for Malaysia and European countries, as well as plans for mutual visa-free arrangements with Singapore and Thailand.

According to Group data, countries with visa-free arrangements or relaxed visa policies, such as Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, are top choices for Chinese tourists during the upcoming Chinese New Year. The “China Travel Guide” launched in September 2023 has assisted nearly 100,000 international travelers planning visits to China, while outbound travel orders for the Chinese New Year holidays have surged almost 20 times compared to the previous year.

As China’s economic landscape evolves, Ms. Sun advised businesses to closely monitor policy and market developments, leverage data for emerging trends, and adapt strategies promptly. She emphasized the importance of building strong local partnerships and understanding cultural nuances for navigating the complexities and capitalizing on the potential of the Chinese market.

For the broader Asian economy, Ms. Sun maintained that growth prospects would remain robust, driven by the e-commerce boom, digital payments, and increasing connectivity. She advised global companies shaping their 2024 Asia strategy to prioritize agility, staying responsive to market dynamics, regulatory landscapes, and changing consumer behavior.

“Looking 5-10 years ahead, the region’s resilience and potential for innovation will continue to drive Asia’s robust growth prospects,” said Ms. Sun. “The dynamic economies and technological advancements position Asia as a key player in the global landscape.”

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