Great World Travel Destinations

Strong Surge in International Visitor Arrivals to Asia Pacific, with an 18% Increase Predicted by PATA for 2024

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

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The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has released its Mid-Year Report for its Asia Pacific Visitor Forecast covering the years 2024-2026, confirming an upward trend in international visitor arrivals (IVAs) across the region for 2024. This report supports earlier projections of significant annual growth in IVAs, forecasting a surpassing of pre-pandemic levels by 2024 under a mild scenario, and by 2025 under a medium scenario. In contrast, the severe scenario suggests that IVAs will still lag behind 2019 figures by 31% in 2024 and 13% by 2026.

Today, PATA also announced the release of 39 detailed reports on individual Asia Pacific destinations, as part of the 2024-2026 Destination Forecasts series, supported by Visa. These reports incorporate the latest insights from Euromonitor International and Visa.

Recovery rates vary among regions and sub-regions within Asia Pacific, but IVAs in Asia, the Americas, and the Pacific are all expected to exceed 2019 figures in 2024 under the mild scenario. This upward trend is anticipated to continue through 2025 and 2026.

International visitor arrivals (IVAs) to Asia Pacific from 2019 to 2026 under different scenarios:

Year Historical IVAs (millions) Mild Scenario IVAs (millions) Medium Scenario IVAs (millions) Severe Scenario IVAs (millions)
2019 682.67
2020 141.06
2021 136.75
2022 253.60
2023* 503.51 503.51 471.53 593.48
2024* 740.97 699.56 611.08
2025* 845.12 761.84 548.11
2026* 909.98

“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.” 

Asia Pacific IVA recovery rates from 2024 to 2026 under different scenarios:

Year Mild Scenario Recovery Rate (%) Medium Scenario Recovery Rate (%) Severe Scenario Recovery Rate (%)
2024 108.5% 89.5% 69.1%
2025 123.8% 102.5% 80.3%
2026 133.3% 111.6% 86.9%

Under the medium scenario for 2024, several sub-regions are projected to experience significant IVA growth rates, with Micronesia, South America, and Southeast Asia seeing increases of 77.8%, 47.0%, and 36.0%, respectively. In terms of sheer volume, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and North America are expected to lead with substantial increases in IVAs.

The growth in IVAs from 2023 to 2024 is largely driven by the Northeast Asia source markets, particularly China, Macao (China), and Korea (ROK), contributing millions of additional IVAs. Over the period from 2023 to 2026, Northeast Asia remains dominant, with the USA being the only source market outside this sub-region to rank in the top list by IVA contributions.

Recovery rates of international visitor arrivals (IVAs) into various Asia Pacific regions from 2024 to 2026 under different scenarios:

Region Year Mild Scenario (%) Medium Scenario (%) Severe Scenario (%)
The Americas 2024 108.7% 98.0% 73.1%
2025 123.9% 123.1% 94.1%
2026 131.9% 131.9% 94.1%
Asia 2024 100.2% 86.6% 63.6%
2025 121.6% 100.2% 77.2%
2026 135.8% 119.6% 85.0%
The Pacific 2024 110.3% 96.9% 71.9%
2025 130.9% 110.3% 83.6%
2026 132.6% 119.6% 84.1%
Asia Pacific 2024 108.5% 89.5% 69.3%
2025 123.8% 102.5% 80.3%
2026 133.3% 111.6% 86.9%

Overall, an additional 258.3 million IVAs are predicted for the Asia Pacific region from 2023 to 2026, with 60% of these originating from Northeast Asia.

The PATA has also published individual reports for each of the 39 destinations, which delve into additional details such as source regions, seasonality, and air capacity changes.

Mr. Hamid expressed optimism about the region’s trajectory towards growth despite potential challenges, stressing the importance of focusing on sustainable and responsible tourism practices to enhance the quality of tourism experiences and promote environmental conservation and community engagement.

The reports provide a comprehensive overview of expected international visitor arrival numbers by destination and region from 2024 to 2026, highlighting emerging opportunities in the post-COVID landscape. They also cover economic and market trends, including a PEST analysis, and explore shifts in traveler behavior and consumer payments.

These detailed forecasts and insights are now available on the PATA website and were further discussed in a recent webinar featuring experts from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Euromonitor International, and Visa, providing deeper analysis into the future of tourism in the Asia Pacific.

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