News / Asia

Asia-Pacific Tourism Industry Stages Economic Recovery

Multimedia

Audio
Ron Corben

Travel and tourism, vital elements in the Asia-Pacific region's economy, have been staging a recovery since late 2009, with growth strongest within the region. But, while travel experts are upbeat, they say it could take a year before the industry fully recovers from the global economic slowdown.

The Asia-Pacific travel industry is on the rise after two years of hard times caused by soaring fuel prices and the global economic slump.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) says the recovery had gathered momentum, with international visitor arrivals in the region increasing three percent in November compared with a year earlier.

PATA spokesman John Koldowski, says the travel industry may have to wait until 2011 for a full recovery. But he says airlines, hotels and tourist attractions expect a successful Lunar New Year holiday.

"It's going to be a boom; even now if you try to get a flight in or out of somewhere [in the region] you have to be very, very cautious - very, very flexible," Koldowski explained.  "The capacity at that point in time is limiting. As you know, we've had air capacity reductions for the last 18 months."

The Lunar New Year begins February 14, and is traditionally a popular time for travel in Asia.  Markets that are showing strong gains include Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Macau. Arrivals to China, however, are still down from 2008 when Beijing hosted the Olympic Games.

Arrivals to Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives were also higher, but visitor numbers to India remained flat. Southeast Asia led the region's recovery with a boost in arrivals of 15 percent.  The International Air Transport Association recently reported that the Asia-Pacific region has eclipsed North America as the largest aviation market.

In 2009, 647 million people flew in the Asia-Pacific, compared with North America's 638 million.

Brian Sinclair Thompson, Thailand manager for Swiss International, is upbeat over the region's outlook.

"Cautious optimism is once again the buzz word and I think the region - Asia Pacific - is showing the way in terms of the IATA statistics," he said.  "It's set to take over from North America in absolute terms of movement and I think that's a good sign as well that intra-Asia, the demand is definitely coming back."

Sinclair Thompson expects the major carriers to rebuild capacity while low-cost airlines, which continued to grow during the downturn, are still expanding.

Lutzi Matzig, chief operating officer of travel operator Asian Trails, says Thailand began recovering in late 2009, but he says political stability in Thailand is vital to keep the recovery going.

Anti-government protesters in late 2008 occupied Bangkok's international airport for a week, costing the travel industry hundreds of millions of dollars.

"Thailand, we are up 3.7 percent, so the trend is positive, but no mega increase. But at least it's going in the right direction. December is generally better than a year ago, but at least the trend starts to go up.  This is good," said Matzig.

The region's travel industry, which in some countries makes up more than five percent of the economy, will be banking on a continued recovery of the global economy this year to build on the recent improvement.

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Goghi
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid