The Asia Pacific region is outpacing the world in terms of international tourist arrivals in 2013.
According to the latest UNWTO figures, revealed at ITB Asia yesterday, the world welcomed 747 million international tourists in the first eight months of 2013 – 5.3% more than the same period last year. But according to the UNWTO’s executive director for competitiveness, external relations and partnerships, Marcio Favilla, this growth is being “driven by the Asia Pacific region”.
Announcing the figures at a press conference in Singapore, Favilla revealed that arrivals to Asian destinations had increased above the global average in 2013, up 6.3%, with Southeast Asia had experienced a 12% jump in tourist numbers.
Within the region, Thailand (+21%), Myanmar (+46%) and Cambodia (+19%) all saw strong double-digit growth, which Favilla said was “fuelled by demand from China and the Russian Federation”. Malaysia (+8%) and Singapore (+8.5%) also showed robust figures.
The Asia Pacific region currently handles 23% of total global tourist arrivals, but the UNWTO predicts that this will rise to 30% by 2030.
In terms of the global figures for 2013, Favilla said the rate of growth has “clearly exceeded our short- and long-term forecast”, which had predicted 3-4% growth for 2013.