South-East Asia has some of the oldest backpacker trails, with low costs, vibrant culture, and a straightforward ease to travelling around, attracting countless tourists. Since the 1970’s an ever growing number of backpackers have been travelling around Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. With cheap bus, train, and more recently flight networks, combined with a straight forward, same day, tourist visa process, these countries have effectively connected into a South-East Asian tourism hub.
As countries such as Indonesia and Myanmar have made it easier for tourists and effectively joined this network in recent decades, giants such as China may also be following suit by proposing the construction of a high speed rail link to Myanmar. However countries such as China still need to overcome the tourist visa barrier, as visas are still an arduous procedure to complete before travelling. Investing in transport should go hand in hand with modernising the tourist visa application process, as both will maximise the number of tourists that can access a country.