‘I think Taiwan might be the last one’

Taiwan residents, who on lockdown following a rise in COVID-19 cases, likely will be among the last in Asia to travel abroad for vacation, according to tourism industry expert Brenda Hsiuan.

Hsiuan, a senior business development manager for KKday, a Taiwan-based company that allows customers to book travel, tours and activities online, gave a presentation during the Guam Visitors Bureau’s latest digital academy. She provided her assessment on the mood of Taiwan travelers.

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“I think Korea will be the first one. I know their vaccination situation is going very well,” Hsiuan, said, adding she heard Korea might reach 80% vaccination by September. “They are really ready to go out.”

“I think Taiwan might be the last one that can go outbound,” she said.

Most of Taiwan’s COVID-related deaths happened during the past month. About 3% of Taiwan residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to GVB.

In this Jan. 9, 2017, file photo, Tsai Yuan Hui, a tourist from Taiwan, mimics the pose of the mini Statue of Liberty at the Paseo de Susana Park in Hagåtña. Taiwan residents likely will be among the last in Asia to travel abroad for vacation, according to a tourism industry expert.

“We don’t think people will travel abroad before vaccination,” Hsiuan said.

And, after more people are vaccinated, they probably will traveler in smaller groups to nearby destinations, flying three to six hours from Taiwan.

“They will avoid lots of people, and I think small groups will be more flexible,” Hsiuan said.

And because people have been required to stay home during the pandemic, they likely will prefer outdoor activities when on vacation, “rather than being crowded in a museum or (urban) places.”

“This is what we think the post-COVID trend might be,” she said.

In this April 1 file photo, tourists from Taiwan pose for a group photo at the the Republic of Palau's Roman Tmetuchl International Airport. They arrived on a China Airlines flight as part of the world's first tourism "travel bubble" during the pandemic.

Travel bubble

Hsiuan said she was involved in early discussions in connection with the Palau-Taiwan travel bubble. Palau on April 1 started accepting tourists from Taiwan under the program, which required pre-arrival testing and safety precautions while in Palau.

The bubble closed in May, as Taiwan cases started to rise.

Hsiuan said the travel bubble with Taiwan was rushed, with little opportunity to promote it, and many residents were not interested in being part of the experiment. 

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