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FMI Bytes: The key trends boosting the Asia-Pacific tourism market

According to the UN World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals in the Asia-Pacific region increased by 6% in 2018, and by another 4% in 2019. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused a significant decline in the international tourist arrivals in the region and the market is yet to recover.

As per the latest findings of Future Market Insights, Asia-Pacific tourism revenue is expected to be US$ 138,345.6 Million by the end of 2023. In the long-term, the Asia-Pacific region tourism is estimated to reach at around US$ 414,579.0 Million in 2033.

2018 to 2022 Asia-Pacific Tourism Market Outlook Compared to 2023 to 2033 Forecast

The Asia-Pacific tourism market experienced a drop in market valuation with a CAGR of -15.3% during the period 2018 to 2022, driven by factors such as an outbreak of covid-19 and the closure of a large number of places across Asia-Pacific region.

According to the UN World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals in the Asia-Pacific region increased by 6% in 2018, and by another 4% in 2019. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused a significant decline in the international tourist arrivals in the region and the market is yet to recover.

Despite the decline, countries like China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand remained some of the most popular destinations in the region, attracting millions of tourists each year. Additionally, destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos have also seen significant growth in tourism. The market is expected to recover post the COVID-19 period and many countries are announcing travel bubbles and are working to attract tourists again.

However, while the Asia-Pacific tourism market experienced strong growth during 2018 to 2019, the pandemic caused a significant decline in 2020 and 2021, it is expected to recover in the coming years.

Travel to sites in the Asia Pacific area has been more accessible due to advancements in infrastructure and transportation
The growing middle class population in countries like China and India has led to an increase in disposable income and a greater desire to travel. As a result, more and more people from these countries are travelling internationally, including to destinations in the Asia Pacific region. Increased accessibility to travel, improvements in infrastructure and transportation, such as the expansion of airports and the development of high-speed trains, have made it easier for people to travel to destinations in the Asia Pacific region. The Asia Pacific region offers diverse range of attractions and this diversity of attractions helps to attract a wide range of travellers to the region.

Many countries in the Asia Pacific region have been actively promotion themselves as tourist destinations through marketing and promotional activities, including advertising campaigns and travel fairs. Many countries in the region have been politically stable, which makes them more attractive to tourists as they are less likely to be affected by civil unrest or other safety concerns. The increasing digitization and e-visa processes have made traveling easier and more efficient for tourists and help to attract more tourists to the region.

Positive word of mouth and social media have played a big role in promoting the region, with tourists sharing their experiences and photos online, encouraging others to visit. The region is known for its affordable prices, both for accommodation and for local food and shopping, which makes it an attractive option for budget-conscious travellers.

People looking for accessible, high-quality healthcare and wellness services are increasingly travelling

China has become one of the largest source markets for tourism in the Asia Pacific region, and this trend is expected to continue in the future. The popularity of budget travel, such as backpacking and couch surfing, is on the rise in the Asia Pacific region, as more people look for affordable ways to explore the region. More and more travelers are looking for sustainable and responsible travel options, and destinations in the Asia Pacific region are responding by promoting eco-friendly tourism and conservation efforts. Adventure tourism, such as hiking, skiing and diving, as well as niche tourism, such as gastronomy, culture, and sports tourism, is becoming more popular in the region.

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region, with more and more people using online platforms to plan, book and share their travel experiences. The Asia Pacific region has become a popular destination for medical and wellness, tourism, as people seek out affordable and high-quality healthcare and wellness services. While some destinations in the Asia Pacific region, such as Japan and Australia, are well-established tourist destinations, new destinations such as Vietnam and Cambodia are emerging as popular travel destinations.

Also, there is increase in local and independent travel as more and more travelers interested in authentic local cultures, more people are choosing independent travel and using local guides and operators, this helps in promoting local economies.

Infrastructure improvements have boosted accessibility and the region’s ability to host tourists.

Asia Pacific region has a large potential for attracting international tourists, particularly from developed regions such as the United States and Europe. Also, as the middle class continues to grow in countries such as China and India, there will be a corresponding increase in domestic tourism. Development in infrastructure such as airports, hotels and transportation systems, which will make it easier for tourists to visit. Infrastructural development has led to increased accessibility, increase in capacity of the region to accommodate tourists. The development of luxury hotels and resorts has attracted high-end tourists to the region, who are willing to spend more on their vacations.

The future of tourism in Asia Pacific must include diversification beyond the traditional demographic of international visitors. Domestic tourist expenditures in Asia Pacific reached an all-time high in 2019. Destinations must be promoted to domestic markets in order to encourage visitors to return in the near future.

Many countries in the region are looking to diversify their tourism product, such as developing eco-tourism, cultural tourism, and adventure tourism to attract a wider range of tourists. With the advent of virtual tours and 360-degree video, it has become easier for people to have an immersive experience of a destination before actually visiting, which in turn has led to an increase in tourism in the region.

Country-wise insights

Promoting ecotourism and adventure tourism through the development of infrastructure

Although the tourist industry is mostly driven by the private sector, it is nonetheless reliant on a complex web of government regulations, inter-country travel agreements, and infrastructure investments.

Many states in India have their own state-level tourism boards which work to promote the state as a tourist destination, and to develop policies and programs to support the tourism industry within states. Providing tax incentives for the development of tourist infrastructure, and investing in the development of tourist facilities.

According to data from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana collectively received around 85 million domestic tourists and 8.5 million foreign tourists in 2019. Kerala receiving over 15 million domestic tourists and 1.5 million foreign tourists in 2019. Promoting ecotourism and adventure tourism by developing facilities for activities such as trekking, rock climbing, and wildlife safaris, and by promoting conservation of natural resources.

“China is investing in the growth of its cruise sector, which is projected to enhance tourism in coastal regions”

China is working to diversify its tourism sector by developing new types of tourism and promoting lesser-known destinations. This includes destinations such as the Silk Road, the Yellow Mountains, and the Three Gorges. They are working to promote its rich cultural and historical heritage as a tourist attraction. This includes developing facilities and infrastructure at historical sites, and promoting cultural festivals and events.

China is investing in the development of its cruise industry, which is expected to boost tourism in the coastal regions. Also enhancing the digitization of the tourism sector by promoting the use of digital technologies in the tourism industry to improve the overall tourist experience and make it more convenient for tourists to plan and book their trips.

Category-wise Insights

The number of tourists aged 46 to 55 is likely to grow dramatically.

The age group that is most likely to travel for tourism in the Asia Pacific region varies depending on the country and type of tourism. However, younger adults and teenagers are more likely to travel for leisure, adventure, and backpacker tourism. They are more likely to be interested in exploring new cultures, trying new activities, and travelling on a budget. Middle-aged group travel for relaxation, visiting historical sites, and experiencing local culture.

Tourists aged 46 to 55 are expected to increase rapidly. This group is also drawn to religious and faith-based attractions and is interested in visiting a variety of religious sites.

Online booking channels to lead the booking channel segmentation

There are a variety of booking channels for tourism in Asia, including online travel agencies (OTAs), such as Booking.com, Agoda, and Expedia, as well as airline and hotel websites. Additionally, many tour operators and local travel agencies offer booking services. In certain countries, it’s also possible to book accommodations and activities through popular messaging apps like WeChat and Line.

In other countries like India, offline booking channels such as travel agents and tour operators are quite popular. Ctrip, Hotels.com, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, and many more are some of the main booking channels but there are many local channels specific to certain countries in the region as well.

Competitive Landscape

The Asia-Pacific area has enormous potential for the development of the tourism industry; the UNWTO anticipates a CAAG rate of 5% for tourist arrivals between 2016 and 2030. By 2030, the region is projected to receive 535 million tourists, or 30% of all tourists worldwide.

Growth is anticipated to be fuelled by the middle class’s continuous ascent and more money invested in the travel and tourism sector. Increased market openness, air connectivity, and travel facilitation promote growth. Therefore, it is crucial for the industry’s stakeholders to stay current on the major factors influencing the growth of tourism, with the following factors having a special influence and impact.

The industry’s established companies are employing distinctive techniques to seize market share in this very competitive environment. To guarantee that clients receive quality service and value for their money, the players want to maintain full control over all aspects of services and channel support.

Co-Founder & Managing Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

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

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