The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in partnership with the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC), recently presented its Asia Tourism Trends Report at the Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macao (China). The report showed Asia and the Pacific to have outperformed all world regions in growth in international arrivals since 2005.
‘UNWTO/GTERC Asia Tourism Trends – 2018’ showed that international tourist arrivals in Asia and the Pacific grew at a rate of 6% in 2017 to reach 323 million, around a quarter of the world’s total. Of all the regions in the world, Asia and the Pacific, the second-most visited after Europe, showed the fastest growth in international tourist arrivals since 2005. Arrivals increased on an average of 6% per year, above the world average of 4%.
Rapid economic growth in a region with over half the world’s population, rising air connectivity, travel facilitation, and large infrastructure projects boosted international travel in the region. This had a large impact on Asian destinations’ tourism earnings, which have steadily increased from 17% of the world total in 2000 to 29% in 2017. This is equivalent to US$ 390 billion in tourism receipts.
Asia and the Pacific played a vital role as a source market as well, fuelling much growth in both regional and long-haul destinations. The region produced 335 million international travellers spending US$ 502 billion in 2017, 37% of the world total. Around 80% of Asia’s these visits were concentrated in Asia destinations. Outside the region, 56% of the long-haul trips were to Europe.