The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) says that its members may actually take 'some small comfort' from the latest Quarterly Tourism Monitor released this week by the Association's Strategic Intelligence Centre which show a modest
1.9% growth in arrivals for calendar year 2008.
In a statement, PATA said: ‘Although figures received so far from 37 destinations in the Asia Pacific and Americas show year-on-year decreases in arrivals numbers right across the board, the downturn was not enough to drag the annual growth figure into negative territory. Provisional results show a modest 1.9% growth for calendar year 2008 in these same 37 destinations, with only the Pacific region suffering a drop (4.6%) compared to 2007.’
PATA Director John Koldowski said: ‘Analysis of growth in percentage terms for Q4 2008 shows Malaysia taking nine of the top ten spots (based on a minimum of 10,000 arrivals per quarter) but it includes some very small numeric bases from origin markets such as Iran and Nepal. It's clear that we have some way to go before we can see real, uninterrupted light at the end of the tunnel.
‘We know that travel trends are changing, and changing fast. This will have a varying degree of impact on destinations across the Asia Pacific and beyond. The belt tightening will undoubtedly continue and the battle for market share is now in full swing.’