Asia-Pacific travel grows in 2006

The travel industry has had a steady take-off for 2006 throughout the Asia-Pacific region, according to the latest travel figures released by Abacus International.Travel bookings through the Abacus International system in the Asia-Pacific region were up 13 percent to 4.19 million in February from a year ago.

Although January figures were down slightly—six percent—lower at 3.5 million, this reflected the impact of the Chinese New Year holiays, which were earlier than in 2005.

“Overall, this represents a solid start to 2006, particularly when you’re measuring against the strong performance we saw last year,” Abacus president and chief executive Don Birch said.

“I remain optimistic that travel will be robust this year, with anticipated growth across the region in the region of 4-6 per cent for the year,” he said.

Travel within Asia accounted for 79 percent of all the bookings made in the Abacus system during the first two months of the year.


The jump in February bookings was partly due to special travel promotions by full-service carriers, especially to Europe and North America, Abacus said.

Despite the encouraging start, Birch said the entire industry still has much work to do in order to keep the momentum going and ensure that the Asia-Pacific region will remain “a destination of choice”.

Singapore-based Abacus is the region’s leading ticket booking firm with more than 11,000 affiliated travel agencies in 24 markets.