by Martin Palicki, InPark Magazine Publisher
It is hard to argue that the region most impacted by the pandemic, at least from a business development and operations standpoint, is Asia – and in particular, China. As most of the world began the slow process of reopening in 2021 and 2022, China remained steadfast in its travel bans and restrictions.
While China is only one country, its impact on leisure and tourism is large. Attractions normally dependent on Chinese tourists pivoted to attract local and neighboring audiences.
Even as I write this, there remain hurdles and hesitation for travel in and out of China. One can’t help but wonder if the attractions market in that part of the world has been affected permanently.
All eyes will be on Singapore this June when industry professionals gather for IAAPA Expo Asia. Without a doubt, the world has changed much since the last event in 2019 (Hong Kong). Even beyond COVID, inter- governmental relationships have shifted (generally not for the better), threats of additional armed conflict loom large, and countries like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have emerged as key players in the attractions market. Nevertheless, both the industry and InPark remain committed to Asia.
Many questions remain for the future, but now is the time to rely on established relationships and industry associations like IAAPA to help provide paths forward and global perspective on an ever-changing marketplace.