“In my twenty years of experience in the travel industry, I have witnessed the changes in the travel industry as well as the tourism culture not only in Malaysians but also in other Asians. The only point is that each era has its own reasons for travel. Whatever it is, any changes in the travel climate will surely affect the economics of this industry.”

Try to seek a reasons to travel, you will learn more and gain more.

In my twenty years of experience in the travel industry, I have witnessed the changes in the travel industry as well as the tourism culture not only in Malaysians but also in other Asians. The only point is that each era has its own reasons for travel. Whatever it is, any changes in the travel climate will surely affect the economics of this industry.

Looking back on the travel scenario 20 years ago, China had not opened its doors to foreigners and we were not allowed to go to China, not even to visit our relatives. At that time, the most popular tourist destinations for Malaysians were Taiwan and Korea. Even those who went to Japan were only confined to Osaka, Mt. Fuji and Tokyo. Of course, those who were better off could fly to Europe for a 9 days 6 countries trip. By virtue of their proximity, Thailand and Singapore were the favourites of most Malaysians. I could still remember buying dozens of towels from Singapore. Twenty years ago, there weren’t any tours to Vietnam, Cambodia or Burma. What I’d like to emphasise here is that the ringgit was one of the strongest currency in Asia then. However, it’s a bit pitiful now. During those days, road/bus travel was the major medium whereas flight was only the supporting transportation. Even as at now, rail tourism has yet to pick up. Our objective for travel,then, was merely the target destination and confined mainly domestic towns. As for satisfaction, to be able to go out travelling was already a big reason to rejoice.

The world political stability and the advancement in aircraft technologies have brought about much progress to the travel industry. Travelling time and comfort have improved considerably. Moreover, the high speed train has changed the lives of people. With the invention of GPS, driving is a breeze. When the Vivien Hsu movie “You are the one” hit the box office in China, Hokkaido became a hot destination for Chinese tourists. Hence, a good movie can now be influential in the decisions for travel. The super speed advancement of information technology has also revolutionised the travel culture; providing instant access to information about the uniqueness of this world like the 7 great wonders, world heritage sites, etc. Right now steady income, better education, cultural transformation, advancement of civilisation, reduction of greening, environmental degradation, global warming…… have also been the reasons of travel for modern people.

It is possibly due to the awareness of environmental conservation that such themed tourism like leisure, in-depth, focused, educational, family fun, eco, green, homestay, free and independent….have caught on. These are the positive shift on the reasons to travel.

While sakura, peony, lavender, etc flower festivals; trade shows; car shows; PC fairs; gourmet fairs; travel fairs; international book fairs; furniture expo; etc are also huge markets for study tours.

And of course, low cost airlines have also added a new chapter to the history of tourism. Just as the tagline of AirAsia goes “Now Everyone Can Fly”; low cost airlines have brought the world closer and driven the economics of tourism to another high point.

Still searching for a reason to travel? You’re welcomed to drop in at Apple Vacations for a chat!


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李桑 作者

在旅游业纵横驰骋1万1000多个日子, 探秘南北极境, 足印遍布7大洲132国! 由衷信仰,“出走”; 身体力行,“走出”。