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Asian tourists expected to hit pre-pandemic international travel levels by 2024: Agoda CEO

Asian tourists are only expected to resume international travel at pre-pandemic levels gradually, by 2024, said Omri Morgenstern, chief executive of online travel agency Agoda.

The Asia-focused company expects tourists from Asian countries, excluding China, will take about six months after respective Covid-19 restrictions are lifted to travel confidently, said Morgenstern.

“Korea opened up two months ago … but numbers are 40% of what it was before, so it’s not jumping,” he said.

Across its Asian markets, Agoda’s booking volumes have returned to 2019 levels, but more so in domestic travel, Morgenstern told Reuters, in contrast to the stronger and quicker tourism recovery in the United States and Europe.

“In the US or Europe, it’s almost like everybody decided Covid was over,” said Morgenstern, noting that travel resumed quickly there and many stopped wearing masks.

But in many Asian countries – like Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, and Indonesia – people generally have kept masks on even after mandates were dropped.

Agoda is rolling out more products to allow customers to plan their entire travel itinerary on the platform with the promise of more discounts, Morgenstern added. (Source HT)

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