International arrivals into Asia Pacific exceed the global average once again, says PATA

The not-for-profit membership cooperative Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) published its Annual Travel Monitor 2018 Final Edition on 11-Oct-2018, showing that foreign arrivals into Asia Pacific destinations continued to grow at better than the global average in 2017.

The report covers international visitor arrivals (IVAs) into 47 destinations in Asia Pacific, which show an overall 5.7% increase, to 646.3 million. PATA also calculates a figure of close to 35 million additional foreign inbound tourists into the Asia Pacific in 2017.

INFOGRAPHIC – the Pacific experienced the strongest growth as a destination region for IVAs into the Asia Pacific

Source: PATA

In percentage increase terms between 2016 and 2017, the Pacific had the strongest annual increase at 5.9% year-on-year, followed by the Americas at 5.8%, while Asia kept pace with the Asia Pacific average of 5.7%.

However, by annual increase in the absolute volume of foreign arrivals these positions were reversed, with Asia receiving close to 25 million additional foreign arrivals between 2016 and 2017, followed by the Americas with a gain of almost 8.6 million and the Pacific with 1.4 million additional foreign arrivals over that period.

Across Asia it was Southeast and West Asia that each captured the largest proportion of additional foreign arrivals into Asia between 2016 and 2017. Within the Americas, Central America showed the strongest incremental increase in foreign arrivals between 2016 and 2017, capturing 50.5% of the 8.577 million increase into the Americas over that period.

Of the destinations covered in the report, more than a quarter had annual volume increases of more than one million each, while close to 15% had increases of between half a million and one million apiece.

For sheer annual volume increase between 2016 and 2017, the strongest Asia Pacific performers were ranked as:

Source: PATA

PATA CEO Dr Mario Hardy said: “Early results for 2018 show a collective annual increase in foreign arrivals into Asia Pacific destinations of 8.7%, adding more than 25 million additional arrivals to the total inbound count during the first periods of 2018 relative to the same period of last year”.

Dr Hardy added: “In general terms, the volume of foreign arrivals into most Asia Pacific destinations now needs to be managed in terms of distribution across the destination, especially with growth rates remaining relatively high… This includes shifting our focus from just the volume of arrivals to other performance metrics including length of stay and yield as primary indicators, along with developing a better and deeper understanding [of the] impacts of tourism on the environment and society at all levels, especially if we as a responsible economic sector wish to remain sustainable and therefore viable into the future”.