Growth in the Asia Pacific regionby Cindy Yoonjoung Heo
The tourism sector in Asia Pacific is thriving!
It has been the fastest growing region for international tourism since 2005, with South Asia and Southeast Asia the two fastest growing sub-regions at 8.6 percent and 7.9 percent respectively. According to World Tourism and Travel Council’s report (2015), Asia Pacific’s tourism industry is the largest in the world by GDP contribution and employment. UNWTOP reported that The Asia Pacific region made up 23 percent of the world’s international overnight arrivals and 30 percent of its international tourism receipts in 2014.
According to Asia Pacific Destinations Index 2015 by MasterCard, Bangkok is ranked number one in visitor arrivals, followed by Singapore. Bangkok also ranked number one in total expenditure at US$15.2 billion, with Seoul (US$14.4 billion) coming in second place, followed by Singapore (US$14.1 billion), Tokyo (US$11.9 billion) and Kuala Lumpur (US$10.5 billion).
Although Intra-regional flows will continue to remain strong for most of the Asia Pacific regions, the Americas and Europe will continue to play important roles in Asia Pacific travel and tourism. According to PATA report, the 47 million arrivals from Europe expected in 2020 will come from firstly West Europe (19.5 million) but also by North Europe (14.7 million) – together, these two origin sub-regions will generate close to two-thirds of the total arrivals from Europe by the end of the forecast period (2020).
Asia will continue to increase its relative dominance of foreign arrivals into the Asia Pacific region through to 2020. For this year alone, it is expected to reach 550 million, up 21 percent from the 455 million total inbound in 2015. Based on PATA’s five year forecast, visitor arrivals to the Asia Pacific region will continue to grow with an average annual growth rate of 6.2% over the period 2014-2018 and reach 660 million by 2018. In particular, Arrivals from China to Asia Pacific destinations will climb from an estimated 102 million in 2015 to more than 150 million by 2020.
Image source: PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association)