“I think Taiwan could be the last”
According to tourism industry expert Brenda Hsiuan, residents of Taiwan, who are stranded following an increase in COVID-19 cases, will likely be among the last in Asia to travel abroad for vacation.
Hsiuan, senior director of business development for KKday, a Taiwan-based company that allows customers to book trips, tours and activities online, gave a presentation at the latest digital academy of the Guam Visitors Bureau. She provided her assessment on the mood of Taiwanese travelers.
“I think Korea will be the first. I know their vaccination situation is going very well, ”Hsiuan said, adding that she had heard that Korea could reach 80% vaccination by September. “They are really ready to go out.
“I think Taiwan might be the last one to get out,” she said.
Most of the COVID-related deaths in Taiwan have occurred in the past month. About 3% of Taiwan residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to GVB.
“We don’t think people will travel overseas before the vaccination,” Hsiuan said.
And, once more people are vaccinated, they will likely travel in small groups to nearby destinations, flying three to six hours from Taiwan.
“They will avoid a lot of people and I think small groups will be more flexible,” Hsiuan said.
And because people were forced to stay at home during the pandemic, they are likely to prefer outdoor activities on vacation, “rather than being crammed into a museum or (urban) places.”
“This is what we think the post-COVID trend could be,” she said.
Hsiuan said she was involved in the early talks regarding the Palau-Taiwan travel bubble. On April 1, Palau began accepting tourists from Taiwan as part of the program, which required pre-arrival testing and safety precautions in Palau.
The bubble closed in May, as cases in Taiwan began to rise.
Hsiuan said the travel bubble with Taiwan had been rushed, with few opportunities to promote it, and many residents were not interested in being a part of the experience.
“It turns out that very few people want to go,” she said. “Safety is more important. They don’t need to (travel) right away.
“I don’t think we’ll ever have the chance to remake a travel bubble,” Hsiuan said. “I know most people might intend to wait until they get the vaccine.”