ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai tourism is strong
Thailand recorded 28 percent growth from January to June, thanks largely to the absence of political unrest, while Sri Lanka and Myanmar recorded gains of 37 percent and 29 percent, respectively, according to preliminary results from the Bangkok-based Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata).
Of the 31 destinations in the region reporting half-year arrivals, 26 indicated positive growth, with 14 showing double-digit gains.
The destinations generated growth of 5.3 percent for the Asia-Pacific region during the first half. Even with the loss of almost 1.4 million arrivals to Japan, the region posted a year-on-year gain of more than 8 million international arrivals.
Kris Lim, director of Pata's Strategic Intelligence Centre, said the first-half growth underlined the resilience of travel and tourism in the region.
"The comparatively weaker economies of the US and Europe mean that much of this growth has come from intra-regional travel. This is possible only because of the stronger regional economies and the continued expansion of airline seat capacity."
At the current rate of growth, overall arrivals to the region will reach 433 million this year, up from 408 million last year.
The majority of Asia-Pacific destinations will once again look at record arrivals, led by South and Southeast Asia in terms of percentage growth.
While European arrivals remain a key to South Asia, Asean will gain from the fast-growing China and India outbound markets. Northeast Asia is expected to see strong gains from Asean driven by growing low-cost carrier networks.
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