PATA predicts strong growth

The Pacific Asia Travel Association is
forecasting robust growth for travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region, with
tourism revenues to top US$4.6 trillion and visitor arrivals to reach close to 500
million by the end of 2010.These remarkable figures headline PATA’s newly-published Asia Pacific Tourism
Forecasts 2008-2010, officially launched in Singapore today in partnership with the
Singapore Tourism Board.

Despite regional stock market volatility and uncertainty over local impacts of a
possible US recession, the PATA Forecasts predict robust average annual growth rates
of between 7 and 8%.

PATA Director, Strategic Intelligence Centre, John Koldowski, explains that as much
as two-thirds of all international arrivals into Asia Pacific are generated from
within the region.

“Due to the global nature of business, Asian markets will inevitably be impacted by
a slowdown in the US economy triggered by the credit crunch. However, the
medium-term outlook for most Asian economies is very strong with growth rates well
above world averages,” he says. 

Mr Koldowski notes that localised issues and conflicts, including political and
civil disruption in some markets, could pose a greater threat to tourism growth.
 
The 40 Asia Pacific destinations covered by the Forecasts account for close to 98%
of all international arrivals measured and tracked across the Asia Pacific region in
a given year making them a compelling measure of total activity across the wider
Asia Pacific region as defined by PATA.

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Highlights of the Forecasts include:

1. Strong outbound growth - in volume - from China (PRC), Korea, Singapore and the
US; 
2. Strong outbound growth - in percentage terms - from Gulf markets (including
Bahrain and Oman) and Greater Mekong region markets (including Myanmar, Lao PDR and
Vietnam);
3. Fiji and Nepal are showing extremely positive trends after periods of political
uncertainty;
4. Asia to dominate growth: by 2010 Asia will receive the same number of
international visitors as the whole Asia Pacific region did in 2006.


Produced by PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Centre (SIC), the annual forecasts have
become the bedrock for future planning by thousands of travel and tourism operators,
national tourism organisations and airlines.

“These Forecasts are the bedrock of the information that PATA provides members and
partners in the travel and tourism industry. They are indispensable for anyone from
the tiniest spa in Bhutan to a global airline or national tourism organization,”
said Mr John Koldowski, Director of the SIC.

“The forecasts have proven highly accurate, with the 2007 forecasts falling within
3% of the actual at the time of publishing the new edition,” he added.

Created using the very latest forecasting models by respected academics and industry
experts - Professor Lindsay Turner of Victoria University and Professor Stephen Witt
from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University—the PATA Forecasts are geared for use
by everyone in travel and tourism. The intelligence contained is structured to be of
daily, practical and demonstrable value to everyone whose business is travel and
tourism.

Singapore Tourism Board’s Mr. Soo Siew Keong, Director of International Relations,
said PATA’s Forecasts were very much in line with the country’s stated Tourism 2015
goals of S$30 billion in tourism receipts and 17 million visitor arrivals.

“With numerous new attractions and exciting events coming on stream in Singapore
over the next years, we remain on track to achieve our tourism objectives.  In this
regard, PATA’s Forecasts are useful as they offer valuable insights by which we can
plan and strategize for future growth”, said Mr. Soo. 
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