Riding the Covid Wave: Americas Slowing Down, Asia’s Still in 'Sugar Rush'
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Friday, 25th November 2022

Key takeaways from Phocuswright – worlds apart but some similarities stand out IN a week’s time, we will enter the last month of 2022.

At Scottsdale Quarters, a shopping precinct in Arizona, the malls are already playing Christmas songs. At hotels, both in Phoenix and Tucson, you can see preparations being made for giant Christmas trees to be lit up and decorated.

This weekend, Americans will mark Thanksgiving, which signals the start of the holidays and thus, peak travel season.

Already, domestic flights are packed to the rafters. And one behavior I am told that has changed because of the pandemic is that nobody checks in bags anymore. On the flight from Los Angeles to Phoenix, I was reminded of a domestic flight I was on in Laos years ago when it seemed everyone carried everything onboard, including live chickens.

Here, I did see a golden retriever service dog who was definitely better behaved than the live chickens – and the passengers who obviously come prepared to battle for storage space in the overhead bins.

It’s been interesting watching the ebb and flow of the pandemic, from when it started March 2021 to now. At the start, we said, we are all in this together. But as it turns out, we all got out of it at different times.

Europe and the US were ahead and both regions have experienced incredible pent-up demand while Asia, first in, last out, is in still in the midst of recovery.

As I sat and listened to the discussions at Phocuswright, which took place in Phoenix, Arizona, from November 14-17, it was a stark reminder of the different stages of travel recovery across the world and the different but mostly similar trends that are emerging to influence the evolution of travel in the year to come.

Here are the key takeaways.

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