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    Where can I travel in Asia?

    Discover everything you need to know about travel in Asia in 2022 as more and more countries open up their borders.

    Home Latest Travel News and Views from Asia Where can I travel in Asia?

    Latest Travel News and Views from Asia

    WHERE CAN I TRAVEL IN ASIA?

    by Melissa Nicholas

    Travel began to open up in the last part of 2021 and holidays to Asia are now firmly back on the horizon.  In this article, we’ll discuss the current situation in our specialist destinations in South and Southeast Asia. We will explain how you can travel to Asia and what it is like in the destinations themselves.

    Can I travel to Asia in 2022?

    Most countries in Asia are now open for fully vaccinated visitors from the UK, Europe and beyond. The majority have removed any requirement for pre-travel COVID testing. Sri Lanka,  Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, The Maldives, Oman, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam are open with no testing requirements. While there are some limited formalities to complete which we detail below, travel to these destinations operates pretty much as normal.

    Certain countries in South and Southeast Asia, including Sri Lanka, Oman, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and The Maldives, are open to non-vaccinated travellers with only a pre-departure test required if anything.

    Below, we’ll detail which countries are open and the specific entry requirements for each destination. We’ll also discuss when Bhutan might be open for tourism.

    Jump to Country info:

    India Maldives Oman Vietnam Sri Lanka Thailand Bhutan Indonesia Cambodia Laos Malaysia & Borneo

    ETG TV – The State of Play: The Lowdown on Travel to Asia in 2022

    In this, our final episode, Sam is joined by Melissa, James and Holly for a deep dive into what and where you can book for your next Asian holiday adventure.

    We’ll go into the latest changes and discuss ideas for travel now and in the near future, bearing in mind the rules and restrictions which are gradually slipping into the past.

    Can I Travel to India Now?

    Can I Travel to India Now?

    The simple answer, is yes, you can travel to India on holiday! As of February 14th 2022, you no longer have to quarantine on arrival from the UK as a double vaccinated traveller.

    Is India Open for tourism?

    Yes, India’s borders are now open!

    You must complete a Self Declaration Form at least 72 hours before departure. The declaration will need to include a log from the last 14 days of where you have travelled. You then upload it to the Air Suvidha Portal.

    The Indian authorities have said that they will randomly select 2% of passengers arriving by air to undergo a Covid-19 test. The remaining passengers will be allowed to leave the airport without further testing and go about their business with no quarantine.

    Scheduled commercial flights have recommenced, and routes are re-starting all the time.

    For those looking to go on holiday, you need a tourist visa. The E-visa scheme has not been re-instated yet, although we expect it to be in due course. The Indian Embassy has set up a visa and consular application centre in Goswell Road, London. You need to process your visa and book an appointment, and currently, it takes three to four working days to be approved. We can recommend a visa service to make this process very easy.

    The visas are single entry and valid for six months from the issue date.

    Is it Safe to Travel to India?

    We see no heightened level of risk for India. The FCDO (The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office) has no warning against travel to India. As of mid-February 2022, 54% of India’s population are fully vaccinated, and 70% have had one jab, with well over 1.6 billion doses administered. Boosters have been rolled out since January 10th for healthcare workers and those above 60 with underlying conditions.

    Do I Need to be Double Vaccinated to get into India?

    Do I Need to be Double Vaccinated to get into India?

    Yes, you do need to be double vaccinated to get into India at the moment (as of February 2022).

    Can I Travel to The Maldives Now?

    Yes. As of March 2022, tourists do not need to take any tests before or after arriving for a holiday to the Maldives. The Maldives is fully open to foreign visitors and has been so since July 2020. Resorts have been operating throughout the pandemic, albeit at lower visitor numbers than previously. Once restrictions started to loosen worldwide, visitor numbers shot up and the Maldives has seen record visitor arrivals ever since Autumn 2021.

    Is it Safe to Travel to The Maldives?

    The Maldives has had two short, sharp COVID spikes (one Delta and one Omicron) but cases are now low again. During the spikes, cases centred on the highly densely populated capital island of Male, where most of the population live and tourists generally bypass. The majority of the 500,000 inhabitants are fully vaccinated too.

    By its very nature, the country benefits from being socially distant. The perfect place to get away from it all, as our colleague Matt experienced when he travelled to the Maldives in November 2020.

    Is The Maldives Open for tourism?

    Heavily reliant on tourism (the second-most tourism reliant economy globally), it’s no surprise that the Maldives has been open since July 2020.

    Source : www.experiencetravelgroup.com

    Is South

    Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have recently eased their COVID travel restrictions - just in time for the summer holidays.

    DESTINATIONS

    Is South-East Asia open to tourists? An updated list of 2022 entry rules for every country

    A traveller in a treehouse on Nusa Penida Island, Bali.   -   Copyright  Getty Images/RMNunes

    By Lottie Limb  •   27/04/2022

    If you’ve been dreaming of a trip to southeast Asia, this could be the summer it finally happens. Most of the subregion’s countries - all blessed by a balmy climate and dreamy coastlines - have relaxed their Covid entry rules in recent months.

    Thailand recently announced it is dropping pre-departure tests for vaccinated visitors; while Vietnam has taken the unusual step of getting rid of distinctions between passengers.

    So whether relaxing on a Thai beach, diving in the Philippines or getting up close with Borneo’s magnificent wildlife is top of your list, these are the rules you still need to know.

    And for those still looking for inspiration (perhaps deprived of friends’ well-documented journeys to this part of the world since the pandemic began) we’ve included some of the most celebrated experiences on offer to jog your memory.

    Flights to India are back on: Here’s why you should explore the backwaters of Kerala

    Cambodia

    Known for: Angkor Wat, the ‘city of temples’ in Cambodia’s north, is one of the great cultural wonders of the world. Though it’s been in near continuous use since the twelfth century, the most striking views are of the huge trees - strangler figs and banyans - that have overgrown the monumental buildings.Best time of year to go: November to April to ensure clear blue skies.Travel restrictions: European visitors need a visa to enter Cambodia - which can be obtained before arrival here. The country’s visa-on-arrival programme has now been reinstated.

    Fully-vaccinated travellers only need to present proof of vaccination. An NHS Covid pass is accepted from UK tourists, but you must have it printed out. Unvaccinated tourists must quarantine for seven days (down from 14). If flying to Cambodia, health authorities will oversee a PCR test on the seventh day which (if negative) will release you from isolation. Those arriving by land will also be tested before entering quarantine.

    Indonesia

    An Orangutan jumping from tree to tree in the Borneo rainforest, one of two areas where they are still left in the wild.Rita Enes/Getty Images

    Known for: Bali’s beaches are the stuff of lockdown dreams, but with over 17,000 islands there’s plenty more secluded spots if you still want to avoid crowds. The jungled town of Ubud must be explored at least once in lifetime, however.

    On Borneo (the bigger, Indonesian portion is called Kalimantan) you can walk past swinging orangutans.

    Best time of year to go: The shoulder seasons of May-June and September are quieter than July-August, and still boast wonderful, dry weather.Travel restrictions: Indonesia’s entry rules remain quite strict, and vary according to the type of tourist visa you apply for. A breakdown of visa types can be found on the Indonesian Immigration website.

    Fully-vaccinated travellers from the UK and EU collecting their visa on arrival must show a certificate with proof of a negative PCR taken within 48 hours of departure. You no longer need to take another PCR test on arrival - unless you show Covid symptoms, or a temperature check raises concerns.

    Travellers must also fill out the electronic health alert card (e-Hac) form, through the Peduli Lingungi app. And show proof of health insurance which covers the cost of you catching the virus.

    Bali: What to do and where to stay in the Ubud jungle district

    The Philippines

    A woman snorkelling with a whale shark in the Philippines.Getty/Soft_Light

    Known for: Its beautiful beaches. The Visayan Islands in particular have all kinds of sandy formations and ample diving opportunities.Best time of year to go: The dry season between November and April. The narrower window of December to February is recommended for exploring more remote areas, in a cooler climate.Travel restrictions: Double-jabbed visitors are welcome in the Philippines provided you have proof, and can present a negative Covid test on arrival. This needs to be a PCR test taken 48 hours before departure, or an antigen test no less than 24 hours before the first leg of your journey.

    While checking in, you must also fill out the ‘One Health Pass' form which will generate a QR code to show the airline.

    All arrivals, regardless of vaccination status, must have a minimum $35,000 travel insurance to cover any potential Covid costs.

    Children under 12 are exempt from the rules if travelling with a fully-vaccinated parent or guardian.

    Singapore

    Source : www.euronews.com

    Travelers return to Southeast Asia but inflation could hurt recovery

    Southeast Asia is attracting visitors again, but rising costs, hiring troubles and the absence of Chinese tourists may dampen a robust travel recovery.

    SKIP NAVIGATION

    International travelers are returning to Southeast Asia, as restrictions continue to drop in places like Thailand (above), Singapore and Indonesia.

    Prasit Photo | Moment | Getty Images

    CNBC TRAVEL

    Tourists are flocking back to Southeast Asia — but the robust recovery is showing signs of cracks

    PUBLISHED THU, JUN 23 20223:22 AM EDTUPDATED MON, JUN 27 20222:58 AM EDT

    Rachel Phua WATCH LIVE In this article

    After more than two years of lockdowns and border controls, Southeast Asia is finally experiencing some semblance of the old days of travel.

    Flights are steadily returning to 2019 levels in the region’s major economies, with Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia being the most popular destinations this year, according to the flight data analytics firm Cirium.

    In Singapore, which had the most inbound flight bookings in the region this year, bookings rose from around 30% of 2019 levels in January to 48% by mid-June. The Philippines also saw a sharp uptick in bookings, from about 20% at the start of January, to almost 40% by mid-June, according to Cirium.

    Tourism is a key moneymaker for Southeast Asia, a region which saw international visitors more than double from 63 million in 2009 to 139 million in 2019, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

    The industry accounts for around 10% of gross domestic product in Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia and between 20% and 25% of GDP in Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines, according to a May 2022 report published by the Asian Development Bank.

    Cirium’s chart on the absolute number of seats tracked (that is, the capacity provided by airlines) in 2022 in Southeast Asia and Nepal.

    The pandemic “was probably more devastating in Southeast Asia than the rest of the world [because] governments kept the borders closed for almost two years,” said Gary Bowerman, director of the travel research firm Check-in Asia. “There were even restrictions on domestic travel.”

    “If you compare that to North America or Europe, for example, in both years 2020 and 2021 … they had some tourism and travel flows,” he said.

    Changing travel habits

    Most countries in Southeast Asia — including Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines — have stopped requiring fully vaccinated travelers to take Covid-19 tests before traveling.

    After Singapore dropped its pre-travel testing requirement in April, business has been “picking up fast and furious,” said Stanley Foo, founder of the local tour operator Oriental Travel & Tours. He said travelers are booking longer trips and spending more than before too.

    Read more

    The biggest travel trend of 2022: Go big, spend big

    Before the pandemic, the company received around 20 tour bookings a week, mostly for tours lasting three to four days. Now, its handling 25 bookings a week, some for trips up to 10 days long. Average expenditures on customized tours rose from around $2,000 per person before the pandemic to $4,000 to $6,000 today, said Foo.

    “It’s because of the revenge traveling,” Foo said. “They have saved up enough for the past two years.”

    Since tourists are spending more time in Singapore, Foo and his team of tour guides are taking clients to places outside the usual tourist itinerary — to the suburbs to watch residents do tai chi and to order coffee at hawker centers “the Singaporean way,” he said.

    Joanna Lu of Ascend by Cirium, the company’s consultancy arm, said people are spending more time planning their journeys too. They are “making sure they’re covered for unexpected changes,” she said.

    Not your usual tourists

    Tourists contacting Foo are from all over the world, especially Southeast Asian countries, he said.

    That’s in stark contrast to his pre-pandemic business, when Chinese nationals were among his company’s biggest client groups, said Foo. China continues to “strictly limit” non-essential travel out of the country.

    With China largely closed, tourism operators in Southeast Asia will target Japanese, South Korean, and in particular, Indian, tourists to make up for the shortfall of Chinese visitors, said Check-in Asia’s Gary Bowerman.

    Sajjad Hussain | Afp | Getty Images

    In 2019, visitors from China made up more than 30% of tourists to some Southeast Asian nations, according to the Asian Development Bank, a fact which makes China’s prolonged border closure even more painful for the region.

    “The traffic decline in China has deepened in April as strict travel restrictions limit air travel in, to and from the country,” said Lu, adding she doesn’t expect the situation to change soon.

    John Grant, chief analyst at the travel data company OAG, said Asia’s travel recovery lags behind other continents’ because of its reliance on international visitors, particularly from China, as well as the varying reopening strategies in the region.

    Southeast Asia has about 66% of flight capacity — measured by scheduled airline seats — compared with pre-pandemic levels, according to OAG. Europe and North America are back to around 88% and 90% of pre-pandemic capacity respectively, OAG’s data showed.

    Source : www.cnbc.com

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