Asia Pacific arrivals to exceed 650m by 2020

International visitor arrivals to the Asia Pacific region will continue to increase between now and the end of the decade, reaching 657 million by 2020, according to new data from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

In its Asia Pacific Visitor Forecast 2016-2020, which includes results for the Americas, PATA revealed that the region will experience an average annual growth rate of 4.6% over the coming years, driven by Asian traffic. In 2015 Asia Pacific welcomed 528m international visitors, so if the forecast is correct, the region will handle an extra 129m arrivals by the end of the decade.

Southeast Asia's beaches could become much busier in the coming years
Southeast Asia’s beaches could become much busier in the coming years

“Actual foreign arrival numbers into Asia Pacific at the aggregate level have been within 2% of predictions made in the last few PATA forecasts, so we know that the numbers are realistic, reliable and valid,” said Mario Hardy, PATA’s CEO.

“In addition, this last series of predictions again highlights the rapidly approaching need for aggressive and appropriate visitor management processes to be installed and operational before we literally destroy our destinations with our love and desire to interact with them.”

Arrivals into Asian destinations are expected to increase from 355m in 2015 to around 448m by 2020. And much of this extra visitor traffic will be driven by Northeast Asia, which is expected to generate 333m outbound visitors to other destinations in the region by 2020 – more than half of the total volume expected in that year.

The Americas is expected to drive approximately 113m visitors to destinations across the Asia Pacific region by 2020, driven largely by North America, which will contribute close to two-thirds of that volume. And Europe is expected to contribute 47m arrivals to Asia Pacific.

Asia will continue to grow its share of international arrivals into the Asia Pacific region between 2016 and 2020, increasing from 72% in 2015 to more than 73% of the total by 2020.

And Southeast Asia is expected to continue to see rising visitor arrivals, according to PATA, improving its share of the overall regional market from 20% in 2015 to around 22.5% by 2020.

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