Asia Pacific retains strong visitor growth

There were close to 356 million
international trips to Pacific Asia Travel Association member
destinations in 2006, representing region-wide year-on-year growth of
5.3% over 2005.  This was revealed by the ‘PATA Annual Statistical Report 2006’,
launched today during a strategic intelligence workshop at PATA Travel
Mart 2007 in Bali, which has set a new year-to-date record for
arrivals.

“Calendar year 2006 was very successful in terms of international
visitor arrivals (IVAs) into and within Asia Pacific,” said PATA
Director - Strategic Intelligence Centre (SIC) Mr John Koldowski.

The following destinations posted “best-ever performances” in 2006:

- Chile, in the Americas;
- Bhutan, India and Pakistan, in South Asia;
- China (PRC), Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Korea (ROK)
Macau SAR and Mongolia, in Northeast Asia;
- Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar. Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand and Vietnam, in Southeast Asia; and
- Australia, Cook Islands, Hawaii, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New
Guinea and Samoa, in the Pacific.

“Asia Pacific may attract up to 380 million IVAs in 2007,” he added.
“So far this year the region has added 13.8 million international
visitor arrivals compared to the same period in 2006, an expansion of
7.1% year-on-year.”

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During today’s Asia Pacific State-of-Play Workshop, a complimentary
event for registered PATA Travel Mart delegates, Mr Koldowski outlined
the major issues and trends affecting international travel flows to
and within the region in the short and medium term:-

- Jet fuel prices, which account for 28% of airlines’ operating costs
in 2007 (in 2003 jet fuel prices accounted 14% of costs).
- Political uncertainty, with major elections scheduled in regional
destinations.
- Climate change; the industry’s response and political implications.
- Intra-regional and cross-border traffic will continue to dominate.
- Continuing expansion of road and air routes throughout Asia.
- The effects of new aircraft; the A380 and B787.
- The progression of sub-orbital flight technology and space tourism.

“Since 2002, IVAs to and within Asia Pacific have grown at an average
annual rate of 6.2%,” said Mr Koldowski. “Assuming no external shocks,
PATA forecasts continued positive performance, at least in the
medium-term.”

The ‘PATA Annual Statistical Report 2006’ launched today brings
together in one volume the top-line performance statistics for
destinations across Asia Pacific from 2002 to 2006.

Covering both inbound and outbound flows, the report provides an
overview of annual travel movements to and within the most dynamic
region in the world today—Asia Pacific.
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