The Asian travel industry is booming, with strong 5.3% year-on-year airline passenger growth in the Asia Pacific region in 2006, according to Abacus International, quoting figures from the International Air Travel Association (IATA). Abacus president and CEO Don Birch says that economic expansion in the region is boosting the travel sector. Projections by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) are for 5.9% passenger growth for the Asia Pacific region in 2007, and 5.7% through to 2010, the second-highest regional growth rate behind the Middle East, set for 6.9% growth to 2010.
The UNWTO predicts continued 4% growth in tourist numbers for Asia in 2007. At 5% per annum, the number of travellers would double in 14 years to almost 300 million in the region per year by 2020.