PATA reports Asia Pacific growth
Preliminary data from PATA for 36 Asia Pacific destinations indicate a strong performance in 2015 with foreign arrivals growing by around 5.2 percent to reach a combined inbound total of more than 455 million. The Pacific led the way with annual growth of over seven percent to reach almost 27 million foreign arrivals. This was followed by the Americas* – excluding the USA – with growth of nine percent to reach almost more than 54 million arrivals.
Asia in total grew by 4.5 percent year-on-year but there were large variations within the region. Northeast Asia reported 3.5 percent growth; there was 6.7 percent growth in arrivals for Southeast Asia, and a high of 8.2 percent for South Asia.
Within this range of growth results, Asia captured more than 80 percent of all foreign arrivals for this group of destinations in 2015 and over 70 percent of the incremental increase in absolute numbers between 2014 and 2015.
At the individual destination level Japan had an especially strong year, growing by just over 47 percent year-on-year and setting a new record for foreign arrivals of more than 19.7 million. It appears that the easing of visa requirements had a very positive impact on foreign inbound tourism for Japan. All told, the majority of source markets into Japan grew at double-digit rates in 2015 with only a few, such as Russia (-15%) actually declining.
In similar fashion, Chile and Thailand both reported strong annual gains – achieving growth of 23 percent and 21 percent respectively. Thailand was close to receiving 30 million foreign visitors in 2015, falling short of that milestone by less than 100,000 arrivals.
Sri Lanka also performed strongly in 2015, growing by almost 18 percent between 2014 and 2015 and coming close to passing the two million milestone for the very first time (1.798 million).