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PATA predicts strong gains in Asia Pacific international visitor numbers for 2024

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The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) today released the Executive Summary report for its latest forecasts for international visitor arrivals (IVAs) into and across Asia Pacific, which shows strong annual increases in numbers for 2024 with growth momentum continuing to 2026.

It is expected that pre-COVID levels of IVAs shall be surpassed in 2024 under the mild scenario, and in 2025 under the medium scenario. However, the severe scenario remains a possibility and arrival numbers are predicted to remain around 13 percentage points below the 2019 benchmark by the end of 2026 under such conditions. Nevertheless, the growth felt across the Asia Pacific region validates the enormous work by destinations in luring international travellers and that the complete visitor economy remains vital for national economic recovery.

“The latest PATA forecasts shed light on the swift recovery of the international arrivals numbers in and across the Asia Pacific region, showing signs of strong visitor growth each year between 2024 and 2026 under the mild and medium scenarios, such trends were somewhat driven by joint agreements on destination visa requirements.” PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid noted.

“We cannot, however, expect uniformity in growth from that and other source markets across all the destinations of Asia Pacific, as many will increase their inbound counts at their own pace and in their own time. Furthermore, we must recognise this as the time of fast-paced and constant changes. All of us must remain vigilant of sudden shifts within the industry and be prepared with viable strategies and appropriate coping mechanisms for future uncertainties.”

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In absolute terms, the number of IVAs predicted for 2024 ranges from a high of 750 million under the mild scenario, to 619 million under the medium scenario, and 477 million under the severe scenario.

While annual increases of IVA numbers into and across Asia Pacific are expected to be robust from 2024 to 2026, significant differences exist for each of the three destination regions as well as for each of the 39 individual destinations covered in the report, and by each of the possible scenarios.

The annual growth rate for IVAs into and across Asia, for example, is predicted to be in this order: 34% in 2024 under the mild scenario, 29% under the medium scenario, and 11% under the severe scenario. The annual IVA numbers are also predicted to decrease slightly during the three years leading up to 2026, reflecting the return to a more stable longer-term growth rate as the ‘s-shaped’ travel demand curve returns to a more consistent position.

While the Americas and the Pacific regions are forecast to have less potent growth compared to Asia, they still have generally significant growth rates and absolute volume increases, with some minor fluctuations over the forecast period.

Despite the prevailing scenario conditions, it seems Asia will maintain a powerful advantage in IVA numbers each year from 2024 to 2026, capturing more than 70% of arrivals into and across Asia Pacific.

Asia is also predicted to dominate as a supplier region of IVAs, returning to a significant level of dominance by supplying more than 58% of all IVAs into Asia Pacific in 2024, under each of the three scenarios. The Americas and Europe follow with shares of around 19% and 14% that same year.

By the end of 2026, Asia is forecast to account for more than 61% of all foreign arrivals across Asia Pacific.

Mr Hamid added, “Even as arrival numbers climb on an upward trajectory, the issues of staffing and maintaining service excellence remain critical issues for destinations within the region, especially now as global competition seeks out the growing source markets contained within Asia Pacific. Any aspect of complacency will be an ever-present danger and must be avoided.”

This report provides:

  • A forecast summary of IVAs for Asia Pacific between 2024 and 2026 by destination region and sub-region, highlighting changing opportunities in the post-COVID era; and

  • Highlights of the key source markets within each Asia Pacific destination region over the forecast period of 2024 to 2026.

The PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts Executive Summary 2024-2026 is now available here and is complimentary for all PATA members.

PATA members have exclusive on-demand video access to the forecast related webinar, “The Scientific Crystal Ball: Forecasting the Future Tourism Market”, held later today on Wednesday, February 7, 2024. The webinar includes expert panellists from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), Euromonitor International, Mastercard, and Amadeus. The speakers will contribute invaluable insights on travel trends of the coming years, key factors driving tourism recovery, and various aspects of the Asia Pacific international visitor numbers forecast from 2024 to 2026.

Tags: Asia Pacific, international visitor, PATA

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