Published on : Wednesday, June 14, 2017
For much of the 20th century, Asia has been the destination for capital flows and tourism. Now almost two decades into the 21st century and with globalization, it is increasingly becoming a source of both capital and tourists. While attending this year’s ILTM conference in Shanghai, Daniel Meesak of Jing Travel met with Dr. Parag Khanna, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, to discuss how these global and regional trends could affect tourism in the coming years.
Dr. Khanna said that despite all of the bad press that Asia gets around geopolitical tensions like North Korea, or tensions that exist between the great powers in the region like China and Japan, Japan and Korea, China and India, and the South China Sea, Asia is going great guns. All of the fastest growing economic regions and sub regions in the world are in Asia. The pillars of global growth, pillars of world economic growth, and world trade growth, are all in Asia.
To quote Dr. Khanna, “If you’re a traveler fundamentally, like me, you know these things. You know them to be true…anyone who looks at the bilateral economic and diplomatic relations, between China and South Korea, China and Vietnam, China and Japan and all of these other relationships would not hesitate to predict it will just normalize, as it tends to.
…there’s a sense that what’s happening now is higher stakes…but the counterbalancing forces are a lot stronger, the economies are a lot more integrated, there’s a lot more mutual benefit commercially…I’m not aware of a case where in the long-run a country rejects an entire nationality of tourists because in the end having more visitors and having more revenue…more hard currency come in is better than not having it.”