Asian tourism is now almost completely reliant on intra-regional travel, a new report from PATA has revealed.
Releasing its full-year arrivals data for 2016, the association reported that Asia (not including the Pacific region) welcomed a total of 436 million international arrivals last year. And 94% of these inbound volumes were derived from within the same region.
Destinations in the Pacific region welcomed 24.5m international visitors last year, but only 32% came from within the region. Asian countries accounted for 52% of foreign arrivals into the Pacific.
Source markets in Northeast Asia were the largest generators of absolute visitor volumes in 2016, led by mainland China and Hong Kong which generated 108.5m and 93.7m outbound trips respectively. These were supported by Macau, which generated 24.4m outbound travellers, as well as South Korea (23.2m), Japan (20.3m) and Taiwan (19.8m).
Singapore was the only Southeast Asian source market in the top 10, generating close to 19.9m outbound travellers for the year.
The impact of these markets was significant, with Northeast Asia generating an additional eight million arrivals and Southeast Asia seeing 4.4m more visitors in 2016, compared to the previous year. In terms of individual markets, Nepal and South Korea saw arrivals increasing more than 30%, while 20% growth was achieved by Mongolia, Japan and Vietnam. Some markets however, saw declining visitor arrivals.
“The year was one of strong overall growth and even stronger increases for some sub-regions and individual destinations. Clearly the volume is there but the destinations winning and losing fluctuate frequently and rapidly,” said PATA CEO, Dr Mario Hardy.