South, Southeast Asia post strong international arrivals

Led by strong performances in the South Asia and Southeast Asia sub-regions, international visitor arrivals into Asia-Pacific destinations grew 4% year-on-year, according to the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

During the first five months of 2011, South Asia posted a 15% increase in visitor arrivals, with Southeast Asia close behind at 12%.

In May alone, Southeast Asia recorded the biggest increase in arrivals at 16% thanks to a 66% rebound in arrivals to Thailand as well as strong demand growth for Vietnam (+37%) and Myanmar (+33%).

Both the Pacific and Northeast Asia sub-regions posted less impressive results for May, with visitor numbers declining 0.6% in the Pacific and Northeast Asia posting just 0.6% growth for the month, due largely to the impact of sharply lower arrival numbers to Japan (–50%) and the decline in the number of Japanese visitors traveling to neighboring destinations. However, PATA added that Japan’s inbound market seems to have reached the bottom of the trough and will now begin posting some positive movements.

“Intra-regional travel remains the key,” said Kris Lim, director of the Strategic Intelligence Centre, PATA. “The dynamic China and India outbound markets continue to expand at a rapid pace with many Indian and Chinese travellers visiting Southeast Asia.

“The outlook remains broadly positive in the second half of the year. Coupled with the gradual easing of negative growth seen in Japan, the arrivals’ growth momentum is expected to continue.”

For more information about Asia-Pacific travel trends, visit PATA’s website.