Berlin : Asians are going on more international trips than ever, although the growth rate has slowed this year after a 9 percent increase in 2016.
The main trends over the first eight months of 2017 include a continued rise in sun and beach holidays, more city trips and a good comeback for travel to Europe after a downturn last year. The outlook for 2018 remains good with further mid-single-digit growth expected.
These were some of the results of the 25th World Travel Monitor Forum in Pisa, Italy (November 9-10). At this exclusive industry meeting, initiated at the invitation of consultancy IPK International and supported by ITB Berlin, around 50 tourism experts and academics from around the world present the latest figures and current trends in international tourism.
The number of outbound trips by Asians grew by 5 percent between January and August 2017, according to World Travel Monitor figures. “Asian outbound was exceptionally strong in 2016, especially due to high growth for intra-regional travel. This year we are seeing a return to a more normal long-term growth rate,” commented Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, which conducts the World Travel Monitor.
Asian travelers head for beaches and return to Europe
Asian travelers went on more leisure trips than ever this year, especially to beach destinations. Holiday trips increased by 5 percent between January and August, thus maintaining a high 82 percent share of all Asian international trips.
The number of sun & beach holidays increased very strongly by 15 percent over the first eight months, and they now account for 23 percent of all holiday trips, according to World Travel Monitor figures.
In terms of destination regions, Europe has proven popular with Asians this year with a 7 percent increase in trips over the first eight months. This is a clear comeback for Destination Europe which suffered a slight drop in Asian visitor numbers last year following various security incidents.
Good year for most Asian destinations
These trends for Asian outbound travel are also reflected in figures from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which show a 6 percent rise in international arrivals in Asia and the Pacific from January to August this year. South Asia has led growth so far this year with a strong 10 percent rise, followed by South-East Asia and Oceania .
However, North-East Asia had relatively more modest growth of 3 percent due to mixed results, according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer for January-August 2017.
Dr. Martin Buck, Messe Berlin’s Senior Vice President Travel and Logistics, commented: “It looks like Asian long-haul travelers are preferring Europe to the Americas this year, which is a clear sign that they have recovered confidence in visiting European destinations. At the same time, Asians want to relax on sun & beach holidays more than ever, while demand for city trips remains strong. These two trends offer good prospects for destinations around the world.”
Looking ahead to 2018, another good year can be expected for Asian outbound travel, which will remain a driver of world growth. IPK International predicts a 6 percent rise in Asian outbound trips in 2018, based on its Asian Travel Confidence Index .
Dec 1 , 2017