China outbound wave dominates tourist arrivals across Asia Pacific to 2020

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BANGKOK, May 12, 2016 — Arrivals from China to Asia Pacific destinations will climb from an estimated 102 million in 2015 to more than 150 million by 2020. As such this one source market will dominate the region’s international tourism landscape, generating close to 23 percent of all arrivals to Asia Pacific destinations by the close of this decade.


Based on historic expenditure patterns, that increases the in-country aggregate expenditure by this market in Asia Pacific from the US$157 billion achieved in 2015 to more than US$230 billion by 2020.

This is one of the key findings and inferences from PATA’s ‘Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2016-2020 Full Report’ released today. Continuing on from the summary report published earlier this year, this second report dives deeper into the expected flows and patterns of international travellers across the Asia Pacific region over the next five years.

As well as showing the expected changes in the origin-destination pairs between 2016 and 2020, this report also looks at the associated changes in tourism-related revenue as well as the destinations favoured by key Asia Pacific source markets to 2020.

In total, the expected average annual growth rate of more than four percent per annum over the next five years will lift the foreign arrivals volume into Asia Pacific from the 538 million received in 2015 to more than 657 million by 2020. Around 78 percent of that additional volume will come from Asia, while the Americas will generate around 16 percent of that increase.

Much of this growth will however be intra-regional – around 83 percent of the additional volume from the Americas, for example, will be directed toward destinations in the Americas, while for Asia more than 94 percent of that volume increase will be to destinations in Asia.

More specifically for Asia, 58 percent of the additional volume generated by the Northeast Asia sub-region to 2020 will be delivered to destinations within that same sub-region, while 84 percent of the additional increase in arrivals arising from within Southeast Asia will be to destinations within Southeast Asia.

However, South Asia bucks that intra-regional trend. Only 18 percent of the additional volume in foreign arrivals generated by South Asia destinations will be intra-regional. Southeast Asia captures just over half of the additional foreign arrivals generated by South Asia.

Similarly for the Pacific where 24 percent of the additional volume in arrivals generated by this sub-region will be to destinations within the sub-region – Asia will capture 73 percent of the additional volume generated by the Pacific to 2020.

The long-haul markets of Europe will also increase to 2020, but not as dramatically as those of Asia. East Europe, for example, will have sluggish growth at best, while only the West Europe source markets will add a collective increase of more than one million additional arrivals by 2020. Even then, the bulk of that increase from West Europe will be into Southeast Asia which is expected to capture 73 percent of that increase.

The source markets of North Europe will increase in volume by just under one million to 2020, with Southeast Asia capturing yet again, the bulk of that increase into Asia Pacific (43 percent). Oceania is expected to capture 16 percent of that volume increase from North Europe while South Asia will manage a 15 percent share of these additional arrivals.

PATA CEO Mario Hardy remarked that ‘significant changes in the structure of international travel into and across the Asia Pacific region are evident in the analyses of travel flows that underpin this report’.

“With the Asia Pacific region expected to host an additional 120 million international arrivals over the next five years, we need to ensure that we are prepared and thereby able to deliver the superior hospitality, experiences and memories for which Asia Pacific destinations are so well known”, he added.

PATA’s ‘Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2016-2020 Full Report’ is available now at the PATA Store or by contacting the publications team at



About PATA
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 97 government, state and city tourism bodies, 27 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 63 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 43 local PATA chapters worldwide. The chapters organise travel industry training and business development events. Their grassroots activism underpins PATA’s membership of the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), which includes ACICLIAIATA, ICAOWEFUNWTO and the WTTC. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing, Sydney and London.



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Paul Pruangkarn
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