PATA positive on tourism outlook

BANGKOK, 15 June 2022: Based on regional recovery trends in the Asia Pacific, destinations will amass step-wise annual increases from 2022 to 2024, according to the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s latest forecast.

PATA released its latest quarterly forecast on Tuesday based on international visitor arrivals data provided by 39 Asia-Pacific destinations up to 6 May 2022.

International visitor arrival recovery rates (above the 2019 baseline level) for visitors to and across the Asia Pacific should reach between 25 to 48% of the volume last received in 2019, with the numbers reflecting the range of potential outcomes from severe to mild scenarios.

The travel association argues that this is a solid improvement over the 16 to 18% range of 2021 – the trough year for most Asia Pacific destinations – and heralds the beginning of a continued growth trend to 2024.

Foreign arrivals to and across the Asia Pacific are still projected to reach parity with the 2019 position (medium scenario) or be well above it (mild scenario) by 2024. Even so, the severe scenario reminds us that a possibility still exists for conditions to deteriorate once again. PATA identifies multiple influencing factors, including the ongoing pandemic continually evolving, the Ukraine/Russia crisis, escalating jet fuel prices, limited air capacity and routes, and industry-wide staff shortages.

While predicting annual growth for each of the 39 destinations covered between 2022 and 2024, there will be some variations.

At the individual destination level, recovery rates will vary broadly in 2022 and should range from less than 15% to almost 99%. In 2024, they range from 86% to 120%. The latest projections indicate the Asia Pacific will reach an IVA count in 2024 of 510 to 832 million, depending on which scenario plays out.

Similar variations are apparent across the source market regions relevant to the Asia Pacific. In general, the trend is towards the same inbound structure of 2024, at least under the medium scenario.

As PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera observes: “While a positive turning point is predicted to occur in 2022 for all the 39 Asia Pacific destinations covered in these updated forecasts, many market variables are currently influencing travel, and significant challenges still lay ahead. She cited the threat of emerging strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to escalating jet fuel prices, the spectre of rising inflation to the current geopolitical conflicts. These variables remain concerns in the face of pent-up global demand to reconnect and travel.”