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NEWS Last modified on April 16, 2015

Asia-Pacific expected to welcome an extra 33 million foreign visitors this year

Asia-Pacific destinations are expected to welcome 33 million more foreign arrivals this year than last, according to Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) projections.

The increase will mean around 547 million inbound passengers by year end, states PATA in its Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2015-19.

That increase averages out to an annual growth rate of 6% for Asia Pacific as a whole, however, this varies considerably for the sub-regions; from a high of around 9% for Southeast Asia to between three and 4% for the Americas.

At the destination level, some inbound growth performances well exceed even those averages.

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% or even higher.” 

“At the volume increase level we expect 11 of the 38 destinations covered in these forecasts to 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,” added Hardy.

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Intra-regional travel continues to dominate in 2015, with more than 80% of the flows from Northeast Asia heading to other destinations within Northeast Asia, with the Americas-to-Americas movements at a similar level.

Southeast Asia is marginally lower with three-quarters of the total flows in 2015 from that sub-region arriving at other destinations within Southeast Asia.

The source markets responsible for generating these increases are spearheaded by those of Northeast Asia, with China well in front adding an expected 13.5 million additional arrivals into Asia Pacific destinations this year alone.

Asia destinations will absorb most of the additional volume from China, with other Northeast Asia destinations expected to capture around three-quarters of that additional volume and Southeast Asia around 17%.

Southeast Asia also remains an important generator of international arrivals into Asia Pacific with Malaysia and Thailand in particular each expected to generate in excess of an additional one million arrivals above the 2014 count, during the year; likewise the USA which is forecast to deliver an addition 1.5 million arrivals to the collective Asia Pacific destinations during 2015.

Overall, some 25 origin markets will generate additional arrivals numbers in excess of 100,000 for the year over those generated in 2014.

This first volume of the PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2015-2019 gives a solid overview of how the tourism landscape in Asia Pacific is expected to develop over the next five years and is available now.

The companion volume II, which details arrivals, departures and receipts (where data are available) at the quarterly and annual levels, will be released before the end of the first half of the year.

Asia-Pacific airports accounted for nine of the top 20 busiest passenger airports in the world, led by Beijing Capital (86.1 million), Tokyo Haneda (72.8 million), Dubai (70.4 million), Hong Kong (63.1 million) and Jakarta (57.2 million).

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