Destinations in the Asia Pacific region will welcome a total of 547 million international visitors in 2015, according to a new forecast by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
The total would mark an increase of 6.4%, or 33m more arrivals, compared to 2014. The figures include the traditional Asia Pacific region, along with the Americas.
“Destinations to watch this year include Palau, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea as their individual growth rates are expected to be around 20% or even higher,” said PATA CEO, Mario Hardy.
“We expect 11 of the 38 destinations covered in these forecasts to see increases of more than one million foreign arrivals during the year, with several at levels of four million or more. Overall, 25 destinations will see their foreign inbound counts rise by more than 100,000 for the year,” he added.
Intra-regional travel will continue to dominate in 2015, according to PATA, with more than 80% of the flows from Northeast Asia heading to other destinations within the sub-region, and Americas-to-Americas movements at a similar level. Southeast Asia is marginally lower, with three-quarters of the total flows in 2015 being generated from countries within that sub-region.
China alone is expected to add 13.5m more arrivals into Asia Pacific destinations this year, or 40.9% of the region’s total new visitors. The majority of this extra volume will go to destinations in Northeast and Southeast Asia.
PATA noted that Southeast Asia is also becoming an “important generator of international arrivals”, with Malaysia and Thailand both expected to generate in excess of one million additional arrivals this year. The US is forecast to deliver an additional 1.5m arrivals to Asia Pacific destinations this year.