Asia-Pacific Travel Boom Set to Continue in 2016


Despite economic uncertainty in China, tourism in Asia-Pacific is forecast to remain strong into 2016 particularly in India and Japan, says EyeforTravel’s latest research

It seems nothing is going to stop Asians hitting the road in 2016. Not even China’s economic slowdown, where weaker than forecast GDP growth of 5% came on the back of a poorly performing manufacturing sector and a slump in exports. Yet in spite of this people kept travelling, a trend that’s expected to continue into the year ahead, according toEyeforTravel’s Full Year Round-Up and Forecast 2016.

In 2015, many countries across region continued to experience record-breaking growth; some notable numbers include:

  • 120 million – the outbound journeys made from China
  • 4 million – those journeys reportedly made in Golden Week alone!
  • 21.2% – the rise in overseas journeys in 2015 from South Korea – read more here about their love affair with Croatia, where the number of South Korean visitors have risen from 10,000 in 2009 to over 300,000 last year
  • 18.7% – the rise in Indian arrivals to the US in the first half of 2015, versus the comparable period in 2014
  • 47.5% – the rise in arrivals to Japan
  • 7.1% – the growth in arrivals to Australia

In 2015, people in the region took more short trips, beach holidays and city trips; they also spent more on upmarket experiences even if these were closer to home. “As we predicted in early last year, the primary beneficiaries of outbound travel would be regional tourism hotspots,” says Alex Hadwick, Head of Reasearch, EyeforTravel.

EyeforTravel’s research gives reason to remain optimistic about continued growth in APAC with two countries, in particular – India and Japan – worth watching. Several markets saw soaring numbers of Indian arrivals and 2016, and little change is expected this year, with 10% growth in outbound travel. Last year was also a great year for Japan where inbound growth rose by almost 50%. So while a fallback is anticipated this year, forecasts are still for healthy rise of 25-30% more tourists entering this Far Eastern nation in 2016.

Of course China cannot be ignored in any conversation about travel in Asia Pacific. And with Chinese president Xi Jinping seemingly determined to get his fellow-country out travelling as part of his yi dai yi lu (One Belt One Road) policy the signs remain promising.

However, EyeforTravel expects a softening of the rate of outbound growth as the purchasing power of the yuan declines and economic concerns remain.

Sounding a positive note, however, wage growth data remains positive and a general transition to a services economy is by no means a bad thing for tourism. “So I think that as industry we don’t need to buy into the bearish sentiment surrounding China just yet,” says Hadwick.

For more head over to the report

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Founded by two travel and technology professionals with years of experience in Asia, Representasia specialises in sales & marketing representation throughout Southeast Asia for travel/hospitality technology providers and travel-related startups, as well as providing marketing consultancy services for hotels and travel businesses in the region.

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