Adding further credence to the IATA 20-year forecast released this week, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in partnership with the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC), presented its Asia Tourism Trends Report at the Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macao (China) this week.
The report shows Asia and the Pacific outperforming all world regions in growth in international arrivals since 2005.
International tourist arrivals in Asia and the Pacific grew 6% in 2017 to reach 323 million, around a quarter of the world’s total, said the UNWTO report.
Asia and the Pacific, the second-most visited region after Europe, has grown the fastest in international tourist arrivals since 2005.
Arrivals increased 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, coupled with rising air connectivity, travel facilitation and large infrastructure projects, have boosted international travel in the region.
As a result, tourism earnings in Asian destinations have increased from 17% of the world total in 2000 to 29% in 2017. This is equivalent to US$ 390 billion in tourism receipts.
The region produced 335 million international travelers spending US$ 502 billion in 2017, 37% of the world total. Around 80% of these visits were concentrated in Asia destinations. Outside the region, 56% of the long-haul trips were to Europe.
EU-China Tourism Year
The report also says that 5.7 million Chinese tourists traveled to Europe in 2016, of which 3.5 million went to the EU. In reverse, 5.5 million Europeans traveled to China in 2016, 3.1 million of whom were from EU countries.