SE Asia hot for long-haul travellers right now

Cheaper rates resulting from weaker Asian currencies
The appeal of Southeast Asia continues to hold strong in the hearts of long-haul travellers, said buyers at this year’s PATA Travel Mart, who add that the region is now more enticing due to new products and cheaper rates resulting from weaker Asian currencies.
For long-haul travellers from countries whose economies have yet to recover from the global financial crisis, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are top favourites, TTG Asia reports.
For example, Ben Gosman, managing director of Amsterdam-based FreeStyle Incentives, has seen a 10% year-on-year increase in leisure traffic to Indonesia and Thailand, while the growth in corporate incentives to the two destinations is just under 10%.
He said both Thailand and Indonesia are seen as value-for-money destinations and the devaluation of the local currencies had helped drive demand.
“The euro had devalued earlier so Thailand and Indonesia were very expensive to us, but not anymore. Demand is good and the destinations are selling by themselves because the Dutch are well informed about what Thailand and Indonesia have to offer,” he added.
Jorge Barbosa Elias, director of United Tours Brazil, said the Brazilian real had devalued drastically against the US dollar in the past year, forcing Brazilians to look for cheaper alternatives to the US for their holidays.
The real has fallen 63% against the greenback from a year ago and 14% over the past six months.
“Hotel rates in Bangkok and Bali are very good,” he said. “They are at least 40% cheaper than rates of similar class hotels in the US. In addition, Qatar Airways and Emirates are offering attractive rates. Next year we have three incentive groups combining Bangkok and Bali. Each group will have around 20 people.”
TTG Asia


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