PATA: Japan, Korea and Hong Kong perform strongly

By Doug Newhouse |

The Pacific Asia Travel Association reports visitor arrivals to Asia between January and September rose 5.5%, with Japan, Korea and Hong Kong particularly strong.


According to preliminary results for the first nine months of the year, PATA says that the 4.7% collective growth rate for Northeast Asia was “somewhat lower than the Asia average’, however this percentage increase translated to around 7.8m additional international visitor arrivals to the sub-region.


Intra-regional flows remained the key force behind this growth in both volume and percentage gain terms for the period. China (-2%) and Macau SAR (+1%) saw relatively weak results, while the remaining destinations, Japan (+41%), Chinese Taipei (+24%), Korea (ROK) (+19%) and Hong Kong SAR (+16%), performed strongly.


PATA said: “Although South Asia (+7%) recorded a year-on-year increase above the Asia average, growth was still relatively sluggish compared to the double-digit growth rates during the corresponding periods of 2010 and 2011. All destinations showed slowing growth rates, with India (+6%) and the Maldives (+3%) registering below the sub-region’s average rate.


“This slowdown can, in part, be attributed to the sluggish arrivals pattern from the main source market of Europe, due to the prolonged economic crisis there. Even so, source market data for four reporting destinations within South Asia – excluding India – still showed that Europe remained the highest traffic-generator for the sub-region during the first nine months of the year, followed by Northeast Asia.”



Growing at an average rate of 10% during the three quarters of the year, seven reporting destinations in Southeast Asia collectively showed buoyant increases in visitor arrivals from Northeast Asia, with more than 1.3m additional visitors arriving from that sub-region. PATA adds that fast growing intra-ASEAN travel demand also boosted growth for the period.


Nevertheless, most destinations in the sub-region posted softening growth rates compared to the corresponding period last year, with the exception of two significant destinations, Cambodia (+24%) and Myanmar (+43%).


Martin J Craigs, PATA CEO, said: “Although arrivals growth rates into Asia have slowed a little, they are still robust. It is particularly pleasing to see destination Japan recovering its arrivals numbers. Myanmar, however, has been the story of the year.”


Important note: PATA points out that “source market data” was not available for India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore at the time of writing and its sub geographical regions mention in this story are defined as follows: Northeast Asia = China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Korea (ROK), Macau SAR and Mongolia; Southeast Asia = Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; South Asia = Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.


[Top image: Hong Kong International Airport].




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