Asia Remains the World’s Top Travel Powerhouse
Asia and the Pacific are outperforming all world regions in growth in international arrivals since 2005.
That is the central finding from the Asia Tourism Trends Report presented by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, in partnership with the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre, at the Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macao.
The report shows that international tourist arrivals in Asia and the Pacific grew six percent in 2017, to reach 323 million, around a quarter of the world’s total.
Of all world regions, Asia and the Pacific, the second-most visited after Europe, has grown the fastest in international tourist arrivals since 2005. Arrivals increased an average of six percent per year, above the world average of four percent.
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.
This has had a large impact on Asian destinations’ tourism earnings, which have steadily increased from 17 percent of the world total in 2000 to 29 percent in 2017. This is equivalent to US$390 billion in tourism receipts.
Asia and the Pacific plays a vital role as a source market as well, fueling much growth in both regional and long-haul destinations.
The region produced 335 million international travelers spending US$502 billion in 2017, 37 percent of the world total. Around 80 percent of these visits were concentrated in Asia destinations. Outside the region, 56 percent of the long-haul trips were to Europe.