Asia Pacific: 700 million International Arrivals in 2018 and Growing

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BANGKOK, 16 May 2019 – Asia Pacific destinations collectively received almost 700 million international visitor arrivals (IVAs) in 2018, an increase of 7.7% over the 2017 figure, according to PATA’s Annual Tourism Monitor 2019 Early Edition released today.

This report is the latest in a series that dates back to 1951 and in this edition, covers 47 destinations across the Asia Pacific region. The data contained within these publications provide useful, practical data on traveller structure and movements and are an essential input into strategic, development and marketing plans for all suppliers to this significant contributor to the tourism economies of the Asia Pacific region. 

Rising from an arrivals volume of just almost 562 million in 2014, the annual growth of visitors into and across the Asia Pacific region has increased consistently each year, peaking in 2018 at 699.6 million international arrivals.

The distribution of these arrivals has been relatively constant over the past five years, although marginally favouring Asia, largely at the expense of the Americas.

Within each of those destination regions there are differences across both individual destinations and at the sub-regional level. Between 2014 and 2018 for example, Southeast Asia gained 1.34 points of share in terms of IVAs into and across Asia Pacific, while North America lost 1.55 points of share.

IVA Share Change by Destination Sub-region 2014 to 2018, ppts

There are several main indicators of particular interest at this level, particularly the top five destinations by volume of visitor arrivals in 2018. Clearly China was the number one destination for visitor arrivals, with close to 161 million in 2018. That alone represents 22.6% of the total visitor volume into and across Asia Pacific, in that year.

The remaining four destinations in this top five list cover North and Central America as well as Northeast and West Asia. Collectively, these top five destinations accounted for 54.8% of the total visitor arrivals into and across Asia Pacific in 2018.

A second destination indicator considers the top five destinations that received the most additional volume added to their respective inbound counts between 2017 and 2018

This particular list is remarkably similar to the previous one, except that Mexico has been replaced by Macao, China. In total, 12 destinations of the 47 covered in this report had annual increases in excess of one million IVAs apiece between 2017 and 2018. 

PATA’s Annual Tourism Monitor 2019 Early Edition is now available on the PATA Store.