BANGKOK, Thailand: Online travel agency Agoda predicts that Asian tourists will resume international travel at pre-pandemic levels by 2024.
The company's CEO, Omri Morgenstern, said he expects tourists from Asian countries, excluding China, to not begin traveling for another six months after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted to travel confidently.
"Korea opened up two months ago but numbers are 40 percent of what it was before, so it's not jumping," said Morgenstern, who took the helm at Agoda in July, as reported by Reuters.
Across its Asian markets, Agoda's booking volumes have returned to 2019 levels, but more so in domestic travel, Morgenstern told Reuters, in contrast to the stronger and quick tourism recovery in the United States and Europe.
"In the U.S. or Europe, it's almost like everybody decided COVID was over," said Morgenstern, noting that travel resumed quickly there and many stopped wearing masks.
On the other hand, in many Asian countries such as Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, and Indonesia people have kept masks on even after mandates were dropped.
Agoda is rolling out more products to allow customers to plan their entire travel itinerary on the platform with the promise of more discounts, Morgenstern added.