Asia Pacific destinations enjoy solid travel growth in September 2010

Thursday, 16 December 2010 12:27

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) today released preliminary tourism figures for September, which showed continued solid growth in international visitor arrivals into Asia and the Pacific.

The arrivals numbers grew by +12% year-on-year, slightly stronger than the +10% rise seen in August.

Asia saw the bulk of the growth as travel demand into each of the sub-regions of Northeast, South and Southeast Asia remained high. For the first nine months of 2010, the number of international visitor arrivals to Asia and the Pacific grew by a robust +12% year-on-year.

South Asia continued to lead the region in growth terms with a gain of 15% in international arrivals during the month of September. The Maldives (+24%), Nepal (+21%) and Sri Lanka (+25%) all returned robust results albeit at slightly slower growth than seen in the previous month. Foreign arrivals to India accelerated to a +13% increase, substantially stronger than the +9% gain seen in August. During the January-September 2010 period, international arrivals to this Asia sub-region rose +14%.

Northeast Asia also had a strong September with an increase of +13% in international visitor numbers. Japan led the pack in the sub-region with a year-on-year increase of +34%, followed by Chinese Taipei (+23%) and Hong Kong SAR (+21%). Growth in arrivals to South Korea (+13%), while still strong, never the less slowed somewhat from a very strong second quarter.

China registered a +ten percent increase in arrivals that added nearly a million additional international visitors as compared to the same period last year. Over the nine months to September 2010, arrivals to Northeast Asia have grown by +12%.

International arrivals to Southeast Asia during September have risen by +11% year-on-year, with almost all destinations in this sub-region posting double-digit growth for the month. Myanmar set the pace (+29%) along with Vietnam (+26%) and the Philippines (+22%), while travel demand to Thailand continued to pick up following the political turmoil in the second quarter, recording a +15% increase in international inbound tourism during September. Overall arrivals to the Southeast Asia sub-region expanded by +13% for the first nine months of the year.

The Pacific saw growth of +6%, supported by an eight percent increase in arrivals to Australia. International arrivals to New Zealand were more subdued, increasing by only one percent, in contrast to the majority of the Pacific Island Nations, which reported double-digit growth. For the first nine months of 2010, international visitor arrivals to the Pacific have increased by five percent.

Kris Lim, Director of PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Centre (SIC), said: “We have seen a very big improvement in travel demand in Asia and the Pacific for the first nine months of this year and the positive results can be attributed to the relatively broad-based pick-up in origin markets within the region.

“In combination, the three source markets of China, Japan and Korea (ROK) saw their outbound demand increase about +25% for the first nine months of the year, underpinning the gains seen by many destinations in Asia and the Pacific.

"Arrivals from Europe over this same nine-month period have grown by an estimated +12% with Northeast Asia and South Asia seeing the strongest increases. Similarly, arrivals from the USA to the region have increased by about +9% year-on-year over the same period, with Northeast Asia and South Asia once again, the main beneficiaries,” added Lim.


Asia & the Pacific include the following sub-regions but exclude North America (Canada, Mexico and USA) for the purposes of press releases:

Northeast Asia = China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Korea (ROK), Macau SAR and Mongolia

Southeast Asia = Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam

South Asia = Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

The Pacific = Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Marianas, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.


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