Latest News
HomeReports & SurveysPATA forecasts strong tourism growth in Asia Pacific through 2026

PATA forecasts strong tourism growth in Asia Pacific through 2026


PATA’s updated report forecasts robust tourism recovery in Asia Pacific, projecting international visitor arrivals to surpass 2019 levels by 2024.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – According to its Mid-Year Report for its Asia Pacific Visitor Forecast 2024-2026, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) predicts strong gains in Asia Pacific international visitor arrivals for 2024, reinforcing its original forecast figures released earlier this year.

This update, to be released in early July, underpins the prior report’s prediction of strong annual growth in international visitor arrivals (IVAs) into and across Asia Pacific, exceeding pre-pandemic 2019 levels for the first time in 2024 under the mild scenario, and by 2025 under the medium scenario. However, challenges persist as the severe scenario predicts arrivals in 2024 to remain 31% below 2019 levels, and 13% below the benchmark by 2026.

Additionally, the Association has published its 39 individual reports of the Asia Pacific Destination Forecasts 2024-2026 series, sponsored by Visa and featuring the latest insights and data from Euromonitor International and Visa.

PATA Chart 1

“The severe scenario forecasts remind us that while things are positive right now, with growth projections generally bullish, dangers still loom,” remarked PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid. “Geopolitical tensions, the effects of climate change and economic uncertainty prove to be sources of obstacles to Asia Pacific tourism growth, highlighting the critical need for continuous efforts to create innovative solutions that could effectively combat such challenges.”

PATA Chart 2

While uneven recovery rates between each region and sub-region within Asia Pacific exist, IVA numbers of Asia, the Americas, and the Pacific have all been predicted to exceed 2019 levels in 2024, under the mild scenario. The momentum is predicted to continue into 2025 and 2026, with IVA numbers across all three destination regions forecasted to surpass those of 2019.

As expected, the severe scenario forecasts are much weaker and while IVA numbers are still predicted to continue trending upwards to the 2019 level by the end of 2026, they do so at very much slower rates.

PATA Chart 3

At the destination sub-region level, some very strong IVA annual growth rates are forecast for 2024 under the medium scenario, with eight of the 11 sub-regions predicted to have annual growth rates above 10%, led by Micronesia, South America, and Southeast Asia with increases of 77.8%, 47.0%, and 36.0%, respectively. When it comes to annual increases in absolute numbers of IVAs, however, the destination sub-regions of Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and North America lead the field, with gains of 44.6 million, 36.2 million, and 12.7 million, respectively.

The drivers of much of this expansion in IVA numbers between 2023 and 2024 are very much the Northeast Asia source markets with China; Macao, China; and Korea (ROK) adding 35.9 million, 8.5 million, and 7.6 million additional IVAs to the Asia Pacific IVA count, respectively. Over the 2023 to 2026 period, Northeast Asia still dominates, with the top five source markets by additional IVAs generated all coming from that sub-region. Specifically, seven source markets are forecast to add more than 111 million IVAs each to the Asia Pacific count with the USA being the sole source market outside Northeast Asia in that ranked list.

Another way to recognize the power of Northeast Asia as a generator of IVAs across Asia Pacific between 2023 and 2026 is to understand that of the 258.3 million additional IVAs predicted for Asia Pacific over that period, 60% are forecast to be from Northeast Asia source markets.

These updated forecasts for the 39 Asia Pacific destinations are developed in detail via a series of individual reports which have also been released by PATA. In these individual reports, attention is given to additional important criteria including IVA source regions, seasonality, and air capacity changes.

Mr Hamid commented, “This mid-year report is a positive indicator that the region is progressing towards growth, even with the possibility of a severe scenario. Moreover, the projected increase in IVAs is poised to make a substantial contribution to the Complete Visitor Economy. We must not, however, revert to prioritising arrival numbers alone when it comes to the recovery and growth of our industry. It is crucial that tourism industry stakeholders turn their focus on promoting responsible and sustainable methods of managing volume growth as a way to foster these positive trends, focusing on quality tourism experiences, environmental conservation, and community engagement.”

Co-Founder & Managing Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.