Asia Pacific destinations attract record foreign tourists in 2018

Asia Pacific destinations continued to grow healthy with a new record high of nearly 708 million international visitor arrivals (IVAs) in 2018, according the updated data for 46 destinations.

This reflected an annual increase of 7.3% over the year 2017, according to the Annual Travel Monitor 2019 Final Edition (ATM) released by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Over the five years between 2014 and 2018, the 46 Asia Pacific destinations have collectively seen their IVAs increase by almost 24%, adding more than 136 million additional arrivals to the collective foreign inbound count in the process.

In percentage increase terms between 2017 and 2018, Asia had the strongest annual increase at 8.7%, followed by the Pacific at four percent and the Americas at 3.5%.

By annual increase in the absolute volume of foreign arrivals between 2017 and 2018 however, these positions changed somewhat, with Asia receiving close to 41.6 million additional foreign arrivals, followed by the Americas with a gain of over 5.4 million and the Pacific with just over one million additional foreign arrivals received over that period.

Within the Americas, North America showed the strongest incremental increase in foreign arrivals between 2017 and 2018, capturing more than 55% of the 5.446 million increase over that period, followed next by Central America.

All told, 24% of the 46 destinations covered in this report had annual growth rates in excess of 10% between 2017 and 2018, while 65% grew by five percent or more.

More than a quarter (26%) of the 46 destinations had annual volume increases of more than one million IVAs each, while close to 37% had more than half a million apiece.

As PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy pointed out that, “Preliminary results for early 2019 show a slight softening in the collective annual increase in foreign arrivals into 37 Asia Pacific destinations, reducing to 6.2% year-to-date, year-on-year. Even so, this growth rate has added almost 17 million additional arrivals to the total inbound count during the first periods of 2019 relative to the same period of last year.”


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