The Asia Pacific registered 5% growth in the number of international tourist arrivals for February 2011 compared with the same month in 2010.
“For the first two months of the year, inbound growth was 6%,” says Kris Lim, Director, Strategic Intelligence Centre, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) says.
“Moderating growth was to be expected following last year’s impressive recovery.”
South Asia registered the strongest growth in arrivals, with an increase of 15%. The biggest gains were posted by India and Sri Lanka, both up 15%, thanks in large part to their hosting of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. The Maldives and Nepal also had double digit growth.
Overall, Southeast Asia registered 10% growth. But three countries in the region – Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam – experienced gains of more than 20%.
Growth in tourist arrivals in Northeast Asia was far more modest, with China, Hong Kong, and Japan posting gains of just 2%. Macau's inbound tourism was up 5%.
Northeast Asia's star performer was Taiwan, whose international tourism arrivals were up a healthy 17% over February 2010. Much of this growth, presumably, can be attributed to easing travel restrictions between mainland China and Taiwan.
Inbound tourism for the Pacific was up 4% in February 2011. Vanuatu reported an impressive 71% increase. Hawai'i's international tourist arrivals were up 12%. Australia, the Marshall Islands, and the Northern Marianas all reported declines in inbound tourism.