Asia Pacific: Chinese Tourists Fuel Growth in International Arrivals

Travel Statistics

Countries in the Asia Pacific registered growth in in-bound travel averaging 6% in June 2013, the latest month for which results are available. An increasing number of outbound travelers from China accounted for much of the growth.

“It is encouraging to see that all the tourism growth forecasts for the Asia Pacific region from not only PATA but also from the UNWTO and the likes of the Boeing Company are saying roughly the same thing in terms of strength and direction of growth,” says Martin J Craigs, CEO of PATA.

“We are seeing these forecasts come into reality as global and regional economies continue to gain in strength.”

In the first six months of 2013, the Asia/Pacific region has seen an increase of almost 7.7 million additional international arrivals on the back of a growth rate for the period of 4.5% year-on-year.

Southeast Asia – Up 11%

Strong growth in international arrivals was registered by countries across Southeast Asa in June 2013. Chinese outbound travelers accounted for much of the increase.

Myanmar, a.k.a. Burma, led the region, with a rise of 67%. Most of the increased figure came from Northeast Asian travelers, with Chinese tourists more than doubling compared to the same month the year before.

Vietnam -a relative newcomer to the tourism scene – came in second, with 36% growth. Thailand, with a well established travel infrastructure, followed with 25% growth.

The Pacific – Up 6%

International arrivals in the Pacific grew 6% in June 2013. Australia led the region, with 7% growth.

Guam, Hawaii, and New Zealand were right behind with 6% gains in inbound travel.

Northeast Asia – Up 5%

Japan led the region with an inbound gain of 32% in June 2013. Apparently the devaluation of the yen has made Japan – long thought of as a pricey travel destination – a far more affordable option than in previous years.

Hong Kong – with its great restaurants and fabulous shopping malls – came in second, with 16% growth, followed by South Korea, with 12% growth. Macau registered a 10 % rise.

Has China gone out of favour with international travelers? Inbound arrivals in the world’s most populous country fell by 2%, which dragged down the average gain in the region to a modest 5%.

South Asia – Up 5%

The Maldives led South Asia with a 29% increase in inbound travelers. Rumour has it that the Indian Ocean archipelago has found considerable favour with Chinese travelers.

Sri Lanka registered 13% growth followed by India, with an increase of just 3%.

As the world’s second most populous country, India – despite the modest growth – still accounted for 37% of the increased number of international arrivals in the region for the month.

The region as a whole averaged 5% growth.

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