Asia Pacific tourism revenues set to soar
03/26/2008|10:01:00 AM|Etravelblackboardasia
Tuesday, 25 March 2008: Travel and tourism revenue in the Asia Pacific region is expected to rise significantly in the next two years, according to the Pacific Travel Asia Association (PATA).

Despite concerns over a US recession, PATA´s newly-published Asia Pacific Tourism Forecasts 2008-2010 Forecasts predicted tourism revenues to top US$4.6 trillion and visitor arrivals to reach close to 500 million by the end of 2010.

The increase will be fuelled by growth from mega outbound markets such as China and Korea, as well as emerging destinations in the Gulf and Mekong regions.

PATA Director of the Strategic Intelligence Centre, John Koldowski that increasing air liberalisation was another of the main factors contributing to growth.

"With increasing liberalisation, the introduction of new air freedoms and bilateral agreements, aviation will be in a much better position to do its job, which is getting people to places. Aircraft deliveries and the introduction of new models such as the high-capacity Airbus A380 and the super-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner will also help the industry keep pace with demand,” he said.

"The huge new casino projects in Macau SAR, the development of the Integrated Resorts in Singapore and widespread hotel construction throughout China and India are [also] some of the influencers contributing to future travel and tourism growth," Mr Koldowski said.

He also said the expected US recession will not have a great impact on tourism growth in the region, since almost two-thirds of all international arrivals into Asia Pacific were generated from within the region.

"Due to the global nature of business, Asian markets will inevitably be impacted by a slowdown in the US economy triggered by the credit crunch. However, the medium-term outlook for most Asian economies is very strong with growth rates well above world averages," he said. .   

The report, produced by PATA´s Strategic Intelligence Centre (SIC), took into account air liberalisation, aircraft deliveries, political events and trends, headline events such as the 2008 Olympics and new accommodation coming on stream.

Mr Koldowski said: "For example, the Olympics in China this year and the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai will have a profound influence on arrivals during the forecast period. In addition to the actual surges around the events, the overall international profile of the Chinese destinations will contribute to strong volume growth in the years to come.”

PATA President Mr Peter de Jong said that the ultimate challenge for travel and tourism was to manage the projected growth in a sustainable fashion.

"We need to protect and preserve the region´s diverse environmental and cultural heritage as well as reap the economic benefits from tourism growth," he said.

"To this end, PATA will continue to focus on critical issues, such as countering the impacts of climate change, and work with industry and government alike to develop sustainable business models."