Telum Talks To…Xinyi Liang-Pholsena, Senior Editor, Travel Weekly Asia / M&C Asia  (Thailand)

Telum Talks To…Xinyi Liang-Pholsena, Senior Editor, Travel Weekly Asia / M&C Asia (Thailand)

What is your current role? Tell us more about it?
One of my key roles as Senior Editor is overseeing and curating the content for Travel Weekly Asia, a Northstar Travel Group brand. Travel Weekly Asia aims to be a leading resource and multi-platform content provider for travel professionals in Asia Pacific, providing informative and engaging insights and market intelligence for our readers. With COVID-19 having disrupted the livelihoods of many of my industry peers and professionals, I see my editor role as not just keeping the trade informed but also keeping them motivated and inspired during a challenging period like now.
 
Are there any new projects, columns or programmes that you are currently working on?
I’m working on an endless flow of new projects and stories, from analytical features to native content to virtual events and anything in between. If there’s anything that COVID-19 has shown, it’s that a flexible mindset is utterly needed for editors during this time, so I’m constantly updating and tweaking plans with my team as we go along. 
 
It’s undeniable that 2020 / 2021 have been tough for many industries, especially tourism and hospitality, how is the situation right now and what factors will contribute to its recovery?
Overall, it doesn’t seem like the travel industry is out of the woods yet. The vaccination rollout in many countries has prompted governments in Asia to take a serious look at their tourism reopening plans and rethink if they are able to wait for the masses to be inoculated before borders can reopen. Travel in 2021 will largely remain uncertain, although I hope developments in coming weeks and months will change this outlook. It would be most wonderful if Southeast Asia, or ASEAN, can come together as one to reopen the region. 
 
What are some of the things that you’ve seen happen for the first time in the industry, due to COVID-19?
The amount of sheer innovation and resilience that reside in the travel industry. Whether it’s travel agents, tour operators or hospitality operators, many players in their pivot towards the domestic market have demonstrated their creativity and finesse in coming up with unusual offerings and collaboration that were never before seen. Having said that, the COVID-19 pandemic is easily the single hardest crisis the global travel industry has ever experienced, not to mention the unprecedented loss of talents and people from the sector. But those who can emerge on the other end of the crisis, as well as the new developments, trends and companies that will definitely appear in the travel landscape, would make for an exciting time for the industry when international borders open again.
 
Any trends in tourism industry that you think we should focus on this year?
Health and safety remain top consideration for any travel, but digital health passports which are currently being developed to verify COVID-19 testing and vaccination data might be the key to kickstart global travel. When flights can resume and borders reopen, reconnecting with family and friends whom we were not able to meet in the past year will definitely be a major theme – or at least I know I’ll fall into this category. 
 
As a journalist, do you have any tips for PRs to work with you more efficiently?
Give me the inside scoop or a story that is too good to pass up for the title, not a generic pitch that targets everyone. 

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Telum media database

  • Xinyi Liang-Pholsena
  • Travel Weekly Asia
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    2 media requests
  • M&C Asia
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