PATA Projects 6 Percent Growth for Asia Pacific Region
PHOTO: PATA’s Hardy describes the juggernaut that is Asia Pacific travel. (Courtesy of PATA)
According to the newly released Volume I of the annual PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2015-19, released by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Asia Pacific destinations will welcome 33 million more foreign arrivals in 2015 than it did in 2014, lifting the expected total inbound volume to around 547 million by the end of the year. When you average that out, that registers as an annual growth rate of 6 percent across the region. The PATA region is massive, however, ranging from the Rockies and the Andes to the Pamirs of Pakistan and everything in between. The U.S. will add an extra 1.5 million travelers beyond its normal performance to the Asia Pacific region in 2015.
Though the overall growth rate was 6 percent, regions performed differently within. For instance, Southeast Asia grew at an average rate of 9 percent, while the Americas grew at a more meager 3 and 4 percent rate. According to PATA CEO Mario Hardy, “Destinations to watch this year include Palau, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea as their individual growth rates are expected to be around 20 percent or even higher.”
“At the volume increase level we expect, 11 of the 38 destinations covered in these forecasts will see increases of more than one million foreign arrivals during the year, with several at levels of four million or more. Overall, 25 destinations will see their foreign inbound counts rise by more than 100,000 for the year,” said Hardy.
Much of this is short-haul travel between Asian countries. More than 80 percent of the flow from Northeast Asian markets goes to Northeast Asian destinations; the same is true in the Americas. Southeast Asian travelers register a slightly lower percentage of short-haul travel as only three-quarters of their total flow in 2015 will head to other destinations in Southeast Asia.
Northeast Asia provides the biggest source markets. China by itself will add 13.5 million additional arrivals into Asia Pacific destinations in 2015. About three-quarters of Chinese travelers will travel in Northeast Asia; another 17 percent will head to Southeast Asia. The source markets of Malaysia and Thailand are each expected to generate an extra million arrivals for the region above the 2014 count. Some 25 source markets will generate additional arrivals numbers in excess of 100,000 for the year over those generated in 2014.
Yesterday’s release is just the first volume of the PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2015-2019. The research was done with assistance from the PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management. In totality, the report will forecast the tourism landscape in Asia Pacific over the next five years. The report is available now. The companion volume II, which details arrivals, departures and receipts (where data is available) at the quarterly and annual levels, will be released before the end of the first half of the year.
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