International visitor arrivals into Asia and the Pacific grew by six percent in June 2013, the latest month for which comprehensive pan-regional results are available. The figures for June are among the strongest year-on-year growth performances so far this year.
Southeast Asia set the pace once again with a solid double-digit gain, but all sub-regions reported good percentage growth performances for the month. Increasing numbers of mainland Chinese visitors played a major role in this exceptional performance in many destinations across the region. However, international arrivals into China continued to decline, the fourth monthly contraction so far this year.
Northeast Asia saw a collective gain of five percent in June 2013 year-on-year, with Japan, the star performer, reporting an inbound gain of 32 percent. Second in the growth line-up, Hong Kong SAR, Korea (ROK) and Macau SAR showed double-digit growth rates of 16 percent, 12 percent and 10 percent respectively. Overall growth for this sub-region was subdued somewhat, however, with total arrivals into mainland China falling by two percent and generating a loss of more than 240,000 visits for the month.
South Asia reported a similar growth performance of five percent in June 2013 compared to June 2012. Across the sub-region, the Maldives was the leading destination in terms of growth (+29%) followed by Sri Lanka (+13%) and then India (+3%). Even though India’s growth rate was well below the sub-region average, it must be remembered that because of the vastly greater volume of international arrivals received annually, India actually contributed around 37% of the increased volume of additional arrivals into the sub-region during the month.
Southeast Asia continued its remarkable growth performance for 2013, reporting a collective gain of 11 percent in international arrivals during June 2013 and adding more than 470,000 additional arrivals to the collective inbound count for the sub-region. Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand were the best performing destinations in the region with growth of 67 percent, 36 percent and 25 percent respectively. The spectacular increase in international arrivals into Myanmar came mostly from Northeast Asia (+86% growth) with mainland Chinese tourist’s numbers more than doubling year-on-year.
International Arrivals to the Pacific grew six percent in June 2013, with Australia and New Zealand driving this growth with individual gains of seven percent and six percent respectively. Other major destinations such as Guam and Hawaii also reported moderate growth of six percent.
Martin J Craigs, CEO of PATA, said: “It is encouraging to see that all the tourism growth forecasts for the Asia Pacific region from not only PATA but also from the UNWTO and the likes of the Boeing Company are saying roughly the same thing in terms of strength and direction of growth. We are seeing these forecasts come into reality as global and regional economies continue to gain in strength.”
In the first six months of 2013, the Asia/Pacific region has seen an increase of almost 7.7 million additional international arrivals on the back of a growth rate for the period of 4.5% (year-on-year).