Back at work? It’s not the end of the world…

Back at work? It’s not the end of the world…

So did everyone have a good festive break? Yes? Good. So did I, thanks for asking.

There was the traditional usual combination of guests, gluttony and goodwill, backed up with an amazing array of movies and sports, and most importantly of all, the world didn’t end after all, which was a relief.

And so as the last of the pine needles are being vacuumed up from the carpet and the new gym routine kicks in, what does 2013 hold in store for us? Here is my outlook for 2013…

In Asia, everyone’s talking about the next big emerging markets, with most people predicting that Myanmar will come to the fore. I certainly won’t disagree with this, but it’s still very early days for the country. Instead, my “one-to-watch” for 2013 is the Philippines. With a resurgent Philippines Airlines plus strong low-cost carriers like Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines, the country is becoming very accessible, and several international hoteliers have already outlined major development plans. The Philippine government’s target of 10 million visitors by 2016 suddenly doesn’t seem so farfetched.

Indonesia will continue its upward trajectory in 2013, as midscale hotel and low-cost airline development drives domestic travel, and Thailand should continue its upward trajectory, barring any political problems.

And then there’s China. In terms of inbound we can expect steady growth, but it is the outbound sector that will be Asia’s biggest driving force. China is now the largest visitor source market for several countries, including Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, and as the Chinese economy rebounds from a blip in 2012 and airlines expand their routes, I would expect most Asian countries to be inundated with Chinese visitors in the next 12 months. Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking tour guides, translators and sign-makers will be in high demand across the region. Likewise, demand for Russian services will also grow.

And whatever happens in 2013, Travel Daily Asia will be there to report on it. We expect to publish more than 8,000 stories this year, covering all aspects of the travel industry, so even if my predictions turn out to be as accurate as a Mayan prophecy, you’ll be the first to know.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013!

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