Last updated: 09:54 AM ET, Mon July 06 2015

Asian Arrivals Riding High

Destination & Tourism | Pacific Asia Travel Association | James Ruggia | May 14, 2015

Asian Arrivals Riding High

PHOTO: China was one of the top-ranked destinations in PATA's recent rankings. (Photo by David Cogswell)

In what has to be one of the prettiest travel moments of 2015, the Austrian Embassy brought the Viennese Ball Season to the Siam Kempinski Hotel in Bangkok a couple of weeks ago. The debutants, the tuxedos and the gowns were in full swing, all that was missing were the mutton chop sideburns of the aristocratic patriarchs on the sidelines. There are millions of reasons to dance in Asia today, as some 550 million international travelers arrived in the region of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in 2014, according to the just-released PATA Annual Tourism Monitor 2015 (Early Edition). Asia received 73 percent of those arrivals, enough to send its tourism stakeholders into a waltz.

Thirty of PATA’s 44 Asia Pacific member destinations had foreign inbound volumes exceeding a million, with 12 of them exceeding 10 million. The Americas, which ride the eastern edge of PATA’s Pacific Rim, received a 23 percent share and the Pacific took the remaining 4 percent. The UNWTO estimated Asia’s arrivals at 263 million.

These are great times for tourism just about everywhere. In 2014, about 1.1 billion travelers took in a foreign country according to the UNWTO’s World Tourism Barometer. Europe remains the most visited region in the world, attracting more than half of the world’s arriving tourists, which in 2014 was about 588 million. Asia nipped Europe in growth 5 percent to 4 percent, while the Americas grew 7 percent.

In PATA’s ranking, the top five destinations by volume in its broad region, which stretches from Armenia to the Rockies and Andes, are China, the USA, Hong Kong, Turkey and Macau. Ten destinations reported double-digit growth. Among them Palau (34 percent) and Chinese Taipei (23.6 percent) had stellar growth rates. The most lucrative source markets varied according to region: Canada, Mexico and the USA flowed powerfully throughout the Americas, and the USA, Japan and Australia did likewise in the Pacific.

Asia was dominated by arrivals from China and its Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. South Asia’s top inbound source markets were China, India and the UK while Southeast Asia had Singapore, China and Indonesia dominate the volume of foreign inbound arrivals. West Asia had a completely different mix of foreign arrivals in 2014 with Germany, the Russian Federation and the UK topping the list of arrivals by volume.

The next PATA Annual Summit will take place at the Dusit Thani Guam Resort in Tumon, Guam in May, 2016.

“Founded in 1951, PATA will be holding its 65th Anniversary next year and with Guam as one of its founding members, I am delighted that we have the opportunity to host the event in this island paradise,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy.


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