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PATA forecast bullish on travel rebound

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BANGKOK, 16 February 2022: International visitor arrivals will begin to increase in 2022 across the Asia Pacific region, possibly gaining in strength to reach 2019 levels by 2024 according to the PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2022-2024.

The full report released on Tuesday by the Pacific Asia Travel Association predicts annual changes in international visitor arrivals (IVAs) across 39 destinations will turn positive this year compared with 2021.

It reports IVA variations in 2022 based on mild, medium, and severe scenarios saying the growth will be between 126% and 84%.

The predicted increase in the absolute number of international visitor arrivals will range from 72.5 million to 175.7 million under the severe and mild scenarios, respectively, lifting the total volume of visitor arrivals to the Asia Pacific between 159 million and 315 million, under those same scenarios.

“While it is a positive and welcome development after two years of extremely difficult conditions, the international travel and tourism sector of the Asia Pacific region still has much to repair and revitalise,” the association cautioned. The forecasted increases in inbound visitor numbers in 2022, for example, still only return them to 23 to 45% of the level of foreign arrivals received in pre-pandemic 2019.

Moving forward to 2024, IVA growth over the next three years is projected to be positive, with the volume of IVAs in 2024 being equal to or possibly improving on the total achieved in the pre-Covid year 2019. That positive forecast is based on two of three scenarios.

PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera noted: “ As stated by our panel, the effect of the Omicron variant is projected to have a small incremental impact for now with the key earlier assumptions still driving the forecast.

“Equitable access and deployment of vaccines plus a practical risk-based approach to health and safety protocols are fundamental to the travel sector’s sustained recovery.

“We share the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) view that the pharmaceutical sector must address barriers to access and affordability for all destinations. Furthermore, as acknowledged by the WHO, travel bans will not prevent international spread. Instead, travel channels should remain open with clear, practical guidelines as recently shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO.”

The PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2022-2024 Full Report is now available at www.pata.org/research-q1v63g6n2dw/p/asia-pacific-visitor-forecasts-2022-2024-full-report.

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