Buckle up for a long trek to recovery

BANGKOK, 22 January 2021: Even under the mildest scenario or the positive outcome, the Asia Pacific’s visitor arrivals in 2023 are likely to remain 4% short of the peaks achieved in 2019. 

That’s the best outcome of three growth prospects presented in the latest Executive Summary of the Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2021-2023 by the Pacific Asia Travel Association covering 39 Asia Pacific destinations. The scenarios are categorised mild, medium and severe.

The medium scenario suggests that foreign visitor arrivals in 2023 could be 25% short of the 2019 volumes, while under the most severe scenario, the PATA forecast predicts a shortfall of more than 50% when compared with 2019 levels.

Asia forecast highlights

International visitor arrivals in and within Asia are expected to show an increase in 2021 over the 70.64 million received in 2020, but only under the mild scenario. From 2022 onwards, annual increases are forecast to gradually improve in volume under each of the three scenarios.

Asia Pacific’s three main visitor generating markets — Asia, the Americas and Europe — are likely to remain soft, in terms of the additional volume of IVAs delivered into and across the Asia Pacific between 2020 and 2023.

IN Asia, regional travel will generate the bulk of the additional visitor arrivals between 2020 and 2023, with its relative share of additional arrivals rising from around 84% under the mild scenario to more than 87% under the severe scenario.

CEO observations

PATA CEO Mario Hardy commented: “While growth in international visitor arrivals into and across the Asia Pacific remains difficult in 2021, there are promising signs for 2022 and 2023. A return to near pre-Covid-19 levels of arrivals, while possible by 2023, appears now to be feasible, at least if conditions as they are now, abate quickly and permanently. However, it will depend on events during this present northern winter and the arrival and management of the more traditional flu season.”

However, he admitted that given the speed with which conditions can change, the PATA forecast report this year does not have the same destination-specific detail as previously published in the past.

But to compensate PATA intends to publish updates “twice over the coming 12 months to factor in developments, as and when they occur.”

The Executive Summary is now available on the PATA website at www.PATA.org/research-q1v63g6n2dw/p/asia-pacific-visitor-forecasts-2021-2023

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