Asia’s outbound tourist numbers won’t recover until 2024, Agoda travel agency chief says
- Tourists from Asian countries – excluding China – will take some time after their respective Covid-19 restrictions are lifted to travel confidently
- That’s according to the new CEO of Agoda, who contrasted the region with the US or Europe, where ‘it’s almost like everybody decided Covid was over’
Asian tourists are only expected to resume international travel at pre-pandemic levels gradually, by 2024, according to the new chief executive of online travel agency Agoda.
“[South] Korea opened up two months ago … but numbers are 40 per cent of what it was before, so it’s not jumping,” he said in an interview.
“In the US or Europe, it’s almost like everybody decided Covid was over,” said Morgenshtern, noting that travel resumed quickly there and many stopped wearing masks.
Agoda is rolling out more products to allow customers to plan their entire travel itinerary on the platform with the promise of more discounts, Morgenshtern added.
In 2020, the company, a unit of Booking Holdings Inc, slashed 1,500 jobs to cut spending amid the pandemic. Now, headcount has returned to pre-Covid levels, he said.