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HomeAsia-PacificOne year on and the far east countries are winning their fight in tourist figures

One year on and the far east countries are winning their fight in tourist figures

Report – WTM2005: They’re confident that tourism figures and financial stability are coming back…

Report – WTM2005: They’re confident that tourism figures and financial stability are coming back. This joint mood emerged from World Travel Market as Sri Lanka, Thailand , Indonesia , Maldives and India charted their progress and stood firm after tsunami and terrorism.

There is increasing optimism in the region that numbers will be back up and beyond the norm. Pacific Asia Travel Association chief executive Peter De Jong revealed that his members would attract 330 million international visitors this year.

That is eight to nine per cent growth on 2004. Countries are well down the road to complete rebuilding.

John Koldowski, Head of PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Centre, says the signs are that airline capacity is returning because of renewed demand.

Figures up to August could be interpreted as negative but the momentum is now positive. Sri Lanka was up 12 per cent through August although that reflected a different type of ‘tourist’.

Instead of the traditional visitor it had received an influx of aid workers, bureaucrats, volunteers and family. Colombo was doing well but the recognised tourism centres were still suffering. That outlook is improving.

Airlines are expected to put on more flights as they react to refreshed demands from overseas markets this winter. At the moment, numbers are still below 2004 levels.

Bali has outlined increased security measures to restore confidence in tourist figures which were heading for a record for the second year running.

The foreign tourist arrivals were up 3.2 per cent in 2004 with a best performance of 1.52 million. From January to August , 2005, Bali boomed and showed a growth of 5.6 per cent. Then in October the popular destination was hit by three bomb blasts.

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