THE Asia Pacific region will continue to lead world tourism growth in 2008, according to the World Travel Trends Report from ITB Berlin and IPK International, which will be presenting trends and statistics at the ITB Future Day during the ITB Berlin.
This was one of the conclusions drawn by the report, which sees the continuing shift in economic power to Asia, particularly to India and China, boosted by the upcoming Olympic Games being held in Beijing this summer,
The forecasts in trends and statistics are based on the Asian Travel Monitor, part of IPK International's World Travel Monitor - as well as on interim inbound arrivals data gathered by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Travel Commission (ETC). These reports show that Asia Pacific continues to be the fastest growing inbound and outbound tourism region in the world.
International tourist arrivals in Asia Pacific increased by more than 10 per cent in 2007 after recording an eight per cent rise in 2006. And, in terms of outbound travel demand, a number of Asian markets are showing even more impressive annual growth.
The top eight markets alone (Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Malaysia and Thailand), according to the Asian Travel Monitor, generate over 70 million outbound trips between them overall, as well as more than 600 million foreign overnights a year, resulting in a total annual spend of more than $147 billion.
Only one Asian market, Japan, currently ranks among the world's top 10 source countries for travel and tourism, with an estimated 18 million trips in 2007 - little changed over the previous year.
While China's official outbound trip count is much higher, at 34.5 million, some 70 per cent of these trips are for Hong Kong and Macau - Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of China - and therefore domestic destinations. Real outbound trip volume was only about 13 million, according to IPK, although annual growth is around 15 per cent according to official data.