Last updated: 02:32 PM ET, Fri August 26 2016

Focus of Global Tourism Turns to Asian Markets

Features & Advice | Janeen Christoff | July 15, 2016

Focus of Global Tourism Turns to Asian Markets

Photo courtesy Thinkstock. 

Digital travel sales in the Asia-Pacific are set to surpass North America in 2017.

It will be the largest region in the world, according to a new eMarketer report. It is projected that customers in Asia-Pacific will spend a $216 billion in the coming year alone, 23 percent growth. North America' will spend just $200 billion, representing just 5 percent growth.

Ed Fuller wrote an article for Forbes that put the number of Chinese travelers and into even clearer perspective.

“I recently participated in a two-week sales mission to China on behalf of Visit California and the Orange County Visitors Association, and have come away more bullish than ever about China’s long-term tourism potential for California, the US and the world,” wrote Fuller.

In the article, he noted that China has the world’s largest population, 1.4 billion people, and only about 5 percent of its population today holds a passport.

“Those who do hold passports represent a middle class that is almost as large as the entire population of the US, and a middle class that is expected to double in size to over 600 million people in the next four years,” he said.

With China’s population of potential travelers set to nearly double in the near future, it is a prime market for innovation in the digital travel space. An interesting question to ask is if that will slow growth on the U.S. side or if new technology will be more geared to a growing Asian audience.

CNBC’s Uptin Saiidi believes it may.

North America may be losing its lucrative appeal in the multitrillion-dollar travel industry, he noted in an article on the changing focus of digital technology.

"The biggest opportunities for companies and startups will be in mobile and online travel agencies, as both will expand their share of online bookings," Chris Bendtsen, an eMarketer analyst told CNBC. "For China in particular, the growing number of international travelers will allow travel-related companies all over the world to benefit from increased digital sales."

Find out more about the changing market of digital tech.


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