PATA bullish on Asia Pacific travel

BANGKOK, 4 April 2017: Collective foreign tourist arrivals to 39 Asia Pacific destinations will grow by 5.9% over 2016 and add around 35 million additional foreign arrivals in 2017, according to Pacific Asia Travel Association’s latest forecast for the Asia Pacific visitor economy.

Bundled into a comprehensive data package for members under its PATAmPOWER brand, PATA released, Monday, highlights of the arrival trends for 2017 to 2021.

It estimates that during 2017 to 2021, foreign arrivals into the Asia Pacific region will grow at an average rate of 5% per annum, reaching a combined foreign inbound count of close to 758 million trips.

By 2021, the Americas  will receive 156 million foreign arrivals annually, while Asia could receive over 573 million. The Pacific is forecast to receive over 28 million foreign arrivals annually.

Big Suppliers

China, Hong Kong SAR, the US, Korea (ROK) and Canada will all remain in the top five traffic-generating markets for the Asia Pacific region.

Surprisingly, India does not figure as a top traffic generator even though it lies within PATA’s geographical border for data collection.

Outbound Russian market

By 2021 the Russian Federation will take  third place by absolute volume gain over 2017, following China and Hong Kong SAR. It will then be generating some 4 million additional foreign visitor arrivals to the region.

Thailand (+37.5%), Lao PDR (+9.7%) and Korea (ROK) (+7.5%) will register the highest average annual growth rate from the Russian Federation over the next five years, while a few destinations such as Hong Kong SAR (-5.0%), Cambodia (-3.6%) and northern Marianas (-2.3%) are expected to face a slowdown in numbers from this source market.

Kuwait will top the source markets in percentage growth terms with an average growth rate of 63% annually between 2017 and 2021, followed by Finland (+31%). Iraq and Myanmar are predicted to rank far behind with these source markets each contracting by around -15%  annually over the same forecasting period.

“Although visitor arrivals growth remains impressively strong for destinations in the Asia Pacific region over the next five years ongoing global economic uncertainty, coupled with rising political populism in the US and Europe, will present a continued challenge to and impact upon disposable income of travel consumers, travel demand and movement between countries,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy. “These forecasts provide a valuable quantification of the expected future trends of travel demand for the Asia Pacific region and thus allow for risk assessments to be made well ahead of the curve.”


AAGR – average annual growth rate, expressed as a percentage

IVAs – international visitor arrivals

MNS – millions


  1. Sad to hear the negative forecast for MYANMAR. I think Myanmar need to start thinking fast and act how to revert this trend by coming up with strategies to overcome this negative forecast and turn it around.

    Perhaps, the first thing to do is to reactivate the MYANMAR PATA Chapter and work with other PATA chapters such as our PATA Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle Chapter which now being extended to cover Shan State. As the Chairman of the local chapter, I am happy to work with my Myanmar friends and colleagues to hopefully improve the situation and even perhaps turning it around.

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