Asia Pacific registers a new record in international tourist arrivals

first_imgThe Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Tourism Monitor 2016 revealed that destinations across Asia Pacific have recorded an aggregate of 570 million foreign arrivals in 2015. The aggregate annual growth rate was recorded as 4.1%. Out of 11 sub-regions, the annual growth rate of eight of them has surpassed the Asia Pacific average, ranging as high as 8.7% for Oceania and eight percent for Southeast Asia.Additional analysis has revealed an incremental increase of about 22.5 million additional foreign arrivals over that of 2014 with three-quarters of the gain in Asia. 21% of the additional volume was captured by the Americas followed by a four percent share by the Pacific.29 out of 40 destinations have reported positive gains in 2015 over that of 2014 with nine registering double-digit growth rates. Myanmar topped the list with a 52% rise followed by Japan with just over 47% year on year.Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, attributed the remarkable result to a number of changes brought about throughout the year, including the relaxation of visa requirements besides additional capacity into certain destinations. “The modification of visa regulations to allow for online visa processing and in a few destinations, the more complete liberalisation of the process itself, has validated those actions with stronger arrival rates. This has occurred without any compromise of the safety and security of those destinations. There is a lesson there for all of us that security and ease of access can work well together if given a chance,” he said.“Figures such as these show clearly that the dynamics of travel to and within the Asia Pacific region are changing. We need to be extremely flexible in dealing with these changes if we are to capitalise fully on these opportunities,” he added.last_img read more