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PATA Region: The new engine of global tourism growth

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) President and CEO, Mr. Peter de Jong, told leaders of the global tourism industry that…

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) President and CEO, Mr. Peter de Jong, told leaders of the global tourism industry that the Pacific Asia region was the new engine of global tourism growth. Mr. de Jong was speaking at the November 12 IPK International seminar called The Latest Global Travel Trends 2002-2003, which took place during the World Travel Market in London.

During the two-hour event the leaders of PATA, the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the European Travel Commission (ETC), the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) delivered sectional updates on the state of the global travel industry.

Mr. de Jong, told the audience: Pacific Asia is the world’s fast-growing region, demographically and economically. The region stimulates 60 percent of global tourism demand. Travellers to the region spend over US$170 billion annually or 40 percent of global tourism receipts.

He said that despite 2001 and 2002 being trying times for tourism, most of the Pacific Asia region was doing well. Northeast and Southeast Asia were still driving the region’s growth — both as destinations and markets, he said.

In 2001 international visitor arrivals to Northeast Asia increased three percent and Southeast Asia 5.2 percent. Mr. de Jong noted that almost 65 percent of international visitor arrivals to Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia came from within Northeast and Southeast Asia.

In the first eight months of 2002, foreign arrivals to China (PRC) increased by more than 16 percent. Similar double-digit growth rates were also recorded for Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, he said.

In a reference to security and travel advisory issues Mr de Jong told the audience: The events in Bali and elsewhere in the world have helped to clarify PATA’s focus as an association working on behalf of its members. Advocacy involving both the public and private sectors is an essential element of our new focus.

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