AMID the global economic downturn and declining travel demand, PATA is bullish there will be growth in international arrivals for many destinations in the region between this year and 2011.
PATA director - strategic intelligence centre, Mr John Koldowski, said international traffic to Asia-Pacific between 2007 and this year would still grow by about three to four per cent, with growth for next year anticipated at about four per cent and for 2011, at about five per cent.
He said PATA’s forecast was not too far from the World Tourism Organisation, which predicted about zero to four per cent growth. “But it does not really matter if it’s three per cent or four, but the key message here is that there will still be some growth.”
For 2011 over 2007, Mr Koldowski said there was a potential for tourism to rebound - at about four per cent increase for Asia-Pacific with South-east Asia and South Asia expected to see about 5.4 per cent growth; Americas at about four per cent; North-east Asia about three per cent and Pacific slightly more than one per cent.
As to why bullish, he explained it was due to the network of AirAsia, which meant travellers had a greater variety of choices. “The low-cost carrier also sees some growth in the number of passengers last year over 2007. This is against the forecast of decline by IATA, which only keeps track of legacy carriers.”
With demand from Europe on the decline, Mr Koldowski said the region could look to penetrate markets that still presented growth potential, such as the Middle East and East Europe.
According to PATA Tourism Forecasts 2009-2011, international arrivals in South-east Asia are expected to increase to nearly 77 million by 2011, from 62.2 million in 2007.
North-east Asia, Mongolia and Macau are expected to grow to almost 240 million by 2011, from 206 million in 2007. South Asia is expected to see more than nine million by 2011, up from 7.4 million in 2007. Americas can expect to receive 106 million arrivals by 2011, up from 90.2 million in 2007.
Source : TTG
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