Published on : Wednesday, January 9, 2019
After moderate growth rates of five per cent in 2017, Asia is picking up again with an increase of eight per cent in the first eight months of the year. A key growth driver has been travel within Asia, which outperforms all other regions and increased by ten per cent. The outlook for 2019 remains positive, but is suggesting a slow-down in growth compared to 2018 so far. These are some of the key results of the first trend analysis of the World Travel Monitor®, conducted by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin.
Uplift from Asia with strong growth
Outbound trips from Asia increased by eight per cent between January and August 2018 according to the World Travel Monitor® figures. After moderate growth in 2017 of five per cent, there has been an uplift again resulting in Asia being one of the key contributors to the worldwide increase of six per cent. “Asia is once again showing very strong growth rates after rather moderate increases in 2017. A key contributor to the growth is China, with 13 per cent more outbound trips compared to the same period last year,” stated Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International.
Inner-Asian travel outperforms travels to other regions
Travel within Asia has been a key contributor to the overall strong growth rates of Asian outbound travel with an increase of ten per cent. The strong increases of Asian travel to Europe last year weakened slightly and Europe received four per cent more Asian visitors. Converse to the overall stagnating trend, Spain was one of the most preferred European destinations and received 14 per cent more Asian visitors. The situation is similar for the UK, which – despite overall decreasing visitor numbers – registered a plus of eight per cent from Asia. The Americas suffered a loss and recorded one per cent less Asian arrivals. This is an extension of last year’s trend, were the Americas were also underperforming.
Positive year for Asian destinations
Looking at international travel to Asia, 2018 so far has been a very positive year with eight per cent more visitors to the region according to World Travel Monitor® figures. Some of the destinations that show strong increases in the first eight month of the year include typical holiday destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos.
Sun & Beach growing further, Tour Holidays declining
In line with the rest of the world, holidays are the key contributor for the growth in outbound travel, and increased by ten per cent in Asia between January and August this year. Business and trips to visits family and relatives (VFR trips) on the other hand were clearly underperforming in comparison with growth rates of two per cent each.