Asia Pacific shows strong sign of growth in tourist arrivals in 2014
Asia Pacific enjoyed promising tourism this year. 2014 saw an increase of 5 per cent in international tourist arrivals in the Asia Pacific through October according to a UNWTO report.
South East Asia has a promising lead by (+8%), India experienced an overwhelming (+7%) lead in international arrivals along with North East Asia where Japan and Korea have recorded a double digit growth.
There was a 6 per cent increase of international tourist arrivals in Australia and New Zealand. 2 per cent growth in South East Asia, the growth was however less in comparison to 2012 and 2013 owing to the disturbance in Thailand which somewhat staggered the flow of tourist arrivals.
International overnight visitors have reached 978 million between January to October. There has been an increase of 45 million more than the same period in 2013. The figures seem to be impressive and are beyond the predictions of UNWTO which had said that in the period 2010-2020; the figures will reach +3.8 per cent and set the end of the year at above 1.1 billion.
The strongest growth was registered in America if we look at tourism growth region wise which registered and increase of +8 per cent followed by Asia Pacific and Europe at +5 percent and +4 per cent respectively. Both America and South Asia outperformed all the other regions registering +9 percent and +8 percent growths in tourist arrivals respectively. Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North-East Asia and Northern Europe (all +7%) have done pretty well too.
The UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rafai was impressed by the figures and said that it is remarkable as the regions continue to face significant geo-political and health challenges and the global economic recovery remains fragile. He also felt that the tourism sector is delivering employment amid economic constraints.
International tourism grew at a more modest pace in Western Europe (+2%) and was stagnant in Central and Eastern Europe (0%), in stark contrast with the last three years, during which arrivals grew at an average of 8% a year.
International tourist arrivals in the Middle East are estimated to be up by 4% (in the first ten months of 2014), rebounding on the declines registered since 2011. All destinations in the region with data available report positive growth, with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia all substantially improving their performance as compared to 2013.
Africa’s international tourist numbers grew by 3% (through October) with North Africa consolidating its recovery (+2%).
Subsaharan Africa’s arrivals were up by 3% despite the challenges of the Ebola Disease Outbreak in a few West African countries. However owing to the condition of the region, there may be some limitation in date collection in this region.