Asia is a continent in flux. The long prosperous Japanese still suffer in the wake of the disastrous earthquake and resultant Nuclear explosion that caused such devastation in the North East of the country. Holidays were the last things on anyone’s mind in the aftermath of the events that occurred in March this year, if people were leaving the country, it was with a view to staying away permanently.
Almost six months after the disaster however, it looks as though the Japanese and indeed the rest of Asia have something to smile about, at least when it comes to tourism both into and out of the continent. Here are some reasons why the face of tourism in Asia is changing rapidly;
The government in Japan is urging citizens to take staggered holidays due to the electricity shortage caused by the nuclear disaster. This means foreign holidays are being spread throughout the year instead of being en masse during the summer.
The Tourism market in Japan of course took a huge hit after the Tsunami , with many overseas travellers cancelling their trips for fear of further destruction. Even worse, Japanese civilians began to vacate the country for fear of Radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant spreading.
The Yen is relatively strong, at least compared to the dollar, this means that although exporters are suffering, Japanese heading over to the states are finding goods and services to be a lot more affordable than usual.
Of course this means less tourism from the U.S and less foreign money exchanging hands in the country, but as with any strong currency situation, there are always advantages and disadvantages; foreign imports are of course cheaper which is stimulating the economy.
The Rise of China
It is no secret that China is fast becoming a major economic player. The rapid industrialization and commercialization of the country means that it has a rapidly expanding middle class, who, like a wealthy socio-economic group in any country, are taking more holidays abroad, particularly in Europe and the States.
Of course China is also fast becoming a favourite holiday destination for tourists all around the world. Global events like the 2008 Olympics and the Chinese Grand Prix have raised the profile of the country, while cities like Beijing and Shanghai offer credible alternatives to New York and Paris.
The Philippines Opens Its Doors
Manila has long been the only airport in the Philippines that commercial aircraft fly into. Under new government initiatives, this is all set to change with other airports accepting tourists. This is likely to mean that new beachside resorts will spring up, attracting more tourists to this part of the world.
Asia has always offered something for foreign tourists, but the financial might of China is dragging up the continents profile as a whole and making it a more attractive, accessible option, and a real alternative to traditionally popular destinations for Europeans and Americans.
Joe is a travel blogger who’s been around Asia but is get to visit the Philippines. He hopes to go there after his Holidays in Mexico however…