Thursday, August 30, 2012

Asia Pacific tourism arrivals grow inMay but slowdown continues

International visitor arrivals into Asia Pacific destinations during May showed a collective gain of three per cent year-on-year, according to preliminary results released today by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
This was the second consecutive month with a declining growth rate and heralds the impact of the various economic contagions across the globe. For the first five months of 2012, the average growth in international visitor arrivals into Asia Pacific destinations was six per cent up year-on-year.
Foreign arrivals to South Asia grew by a moderate six per cent during the month. Despite a weak result from the Maldives (down by one per cent) and a relatively slower month for Nepal (up by nine per cent), the overall trend for the sub-region still showed some promise compared to the previous month. India was up by five per cent during May, while Sri Lanka managed a double-digit growth in arrivals (up by 18 per cent).  This upward trend seems to be continuing as early results for June suggest another lift in the arrivals growth rate.
Even under these trying conditions, Southeast Asia still managed solid growth of 8% during the month to become the fastest growing destination in Asia Pacific. Even so the growth trend is still downward, falling from a high of 15 per cent in March to nine per cent in April and eight per cent in May. There are positives however. The Philippines showed a slower but still significant increase of six per cent after four consecutive months of double-digit growth. Similarly Cambodia (up by 23 per cent), Indonesia (up by eight per cent), Singapore (up by 14 per cent) and Thailand (up by eight per cent) performed well above the sub-region’s average, while Myanmar in particular was very strong performer recording a 53 per cent gain in foreign arrivals during May. Vietnam however posted negative growth (down by 13 per cent) for the month, the first time this has happened since September 2011.
“While there is significant variation in the results at the sub-regional and destination levels, the majority of Asia Pacific economies still reported growth during the month of May, according to PATA chief executive Martin J Craigs. “2012. It is evident, however, that the toughening global marketplace is having an impact on the Asia Pacific region,” he said, adding that none of us can be afford to be complacent as we reach the midway point of calendar year 2012.

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