An optimistic New Year message from Khiri’s founder & CEO Willem Niemeijer

Tourism's Recovery in 2022 Suggests a Busy 2023

The beginning of a new year is always a time for hope and optimism. For those of us in the tourism industry, hope is in much bigger supply than it was this time a year or so ago. Back then, the existential crisis that took hold of our industry in early 2020 still showed little sign of abating. We had no idea when, or even if, travel would restart.

Thankfully 12 months on, the picture is a lot more rosy. Tourism’s strong bounce back is nicely summed up by the UNWTO:

An estimated 700 million tourists travelled internationally between January and September [2022], more than double (+133%) the number recorded for the same period in 2021. This equates to 63% of 2019 levels and puts the sector on course to reach 65% of its pre-pandemic levels in 2022 in line with UNWTO scenarios. Results were boosted by strong pent-up demand, improved confidence levels and the lifting of restrictions in an increasing number of destinations.

From Khiri Travel’s perspective, the recovery looks set to continue in 2023. We we expect traveller numbers to get close to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. In Southeast Asia, all destinations have fully reopened. We have also been heartened by Sri Lanka’s return from political upheaval and the reopening of Myanmar to visitors. And as a sustainable Asia DMC, we’re seeing a huge increase in awareness of sustainable & regenerative tourism. All are positive signs for 2023.

The recovery after more than two years of border closures has not been without challenges: the entire tourism supply chain has had to renovate, restaff, retrain. At Khiri, we have been taking advantage of the blank slate COVID handed us by examining our business in every detail. The objective has been to improve our systems, train staff, innovate products, and enhance service. While these processes are always ongoing, we feel that we are now in great shape and more than ready to make 2023 a fabulous experience for our clients.

In 2023 Khiri Travel also marks its 30th anniversary. We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings in a tiny Bangkok shophouse. We hope you will tap into that 30 years’ of experience allied to Khiri’s renewed sense of purpose and energy.

As the new year opens new opportunities, we’d like to wish all our clients, suppliers, partners and friends a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2023. As we enter a positive new era, the Khiri Travel team hopes that you’ll join us and continue to share our passion for discovery in Asia!

Willem Niemeijer
Founder & CEO

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