Cheap holidays in Southeast Asia for lack of Chinese tourists


Fancy a three-night stay at the lavish Banyan Tree Hotel in Bangkok, under one of the best rooftop bars in the world, from $750? How about a week in mid-August in beautiful Alila Ubud nestled in a serene location just outside Bali’s cultural hotspot, for just $1,960? Or that same week at the colonial-style Anantara Hoi Ann halfway along the Vietnamese coast, from $1,992?

These countries have only recently opened up to fully vaccinated travelers – Thailand since July 1, since June 8 in the case of Indonesia, Vietnam from mid-May – and hoteliers are beginning to the pump with favorable rates.

“Bali, Thailand and Vietnam remain incredible value for travelers,” according to Adam Schwab, CEO of Luxury Escapes, “especially now that they are open to visitors with virtually all COVID restrictions removed. This means Luxury Escapes has been able to offer even more additional value. For example, our all-inclusive offer at the fabulous Melia Resort in Bali is approximately 20% higher than before COVID-19.” At the 4-star Phuket Graceland Resort and Spa on the beach of Patong, one of Asia’s favorite vacation destinations, “a six-night stay for three ‘starts from $580 per couple including breakfast,'” says Lorraine Young, Product Delivery Co of Flight Centre. -coordinator.

Selections from the Luxury Escapes website include a week in late August at the chic beachfront Sarojin in Khao Lak, north of Phuket, around $1,800, or the same week at the ultra-luxury Apurva Kempinski Beachfront Resort in Nusa Dua in Bali, from $2,800. For something closer to Bali’s nightlife action, a week at the stylish Mamaka by Ovolo in Legian will set you back just over $1,000. Some of the best deals are in Bangkok, such as the Shangri-La, which starts at just under $200 per night.

The countries where fares have fallen the most are those that relied on Chinese visitors, and Chinese tourism is dead in the water. In 2019, Thailand welcomed 11 million Chinese tourists, more than a quarter of its total number of visitors. Vietnam welcomed 5.8 million Chinese visitors, Cambodia 2.4 million and Indonesia 2.1 million. In 2022, except for essential reasons, Chinese citizens are prohibited from traveling abroad. All of these countries anticipate a rapid recovery of their tourism industries, but given the fierce lockdowns Chinese leaders continue to impose as COVID-19 threatens to take hold in their communities, Chinese tourists may be absent from Asia. Southeast for some time to come. . That could mean low prices as hotels compete for a slice of a touristy pie, especially in Thailand.

The place to look for bargains is on websites that bundle accommodation and airfare, such as Luxury Escapes, Trip-A-Deal, and Flight Centre. The discounts these operators can exploit due to their buying power often make their offers more advantageous than booking your own plane ticket and the same room at the same hotel, even through the hotel’s website. .

While the hotel deals are great, the airfares are not. After the pandemic, we pay between 20 and 50% more for air travel. So it makes sense to lower the cost per day of your getaway with a longer break. Including economy class airfare, a one-week vacation for two at a resort with a pool in Sarojin, Thailand could cost around $635 per night booked through Luxury Escapes. Stay two weeks, split your trip between the five-star Sarojin and Banyan Tree in Bangkok, and the cost of airfare plus accommodation for two drops to around $465 per night. However, even on a week-long getaway, you would be hard-pressed to find air travel and holiday accommodation of this quality at a similar price anywhere in Australia.

The big unknown is when Chinese citizens will be allowed out. When they do, the high airfares that are dampening demand from Australian travelers as well as those from Europe and North America will not apply to the Chinese market – they are much closer to Southeast Asia. Is that us. Once China opens the floodgates, expect hotel prices to jump.

Smart money says book now.

“We are already seeing prices starting to normalize and we expect most Asian destinations to return to pre-COVID levels in the coming months,” says Schwab. “We’re telling our members to lock in all of their 2022 vacations now, and if you’re planning on going to a very popular destination like Fiji or Bali, start watching Easter 2023 now because these deals are unlikely to ever be repeated.”

See also: Countries that still make it difficult (if not impossible) for Australians to visit

See also: Hot new destinations Australians can fly to: A guide to the best new airlines and routes

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