Tourism in the Asia Pacific region had a strong start in 2019, with a growth of 5.4% in international visitor arrivals (IVAs) compared to the same period last year. According to the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s (PATA) Quarterly Tourism Monitor this is a new record high and an increase of more than 6 million with more than 124 million international visitor arrivals in the 34 destinations covered by the report.
Northeast Asia experienced impressive year-on-year growth with Macao leading the way up 21.2% and Hong Kong and Korea not far behind with increases of 16.8% and 14.1% respectively. In Southeast Asia, Myanmar was the star destination showing an increase in visitor arrivals of 27.8% largely boosted by strong traffic from China and South Korea. In South Asia, Nepal was up 19.4% and along with the Maldives contributed over 100,000 additional IVAs to the sub-regional total collectively. Meanwhile, the Americas region recorded a drop in IVAs, with Chile seeing a decrease of 28.2% leading to a slight decline in total visitor arrival count of 2.3% for the region.
In the Pacific region, the Northern Marianas and Palau showed a downward trend of visitors because of fewer flight services from China, Japan and Korea whilst French Polynesia was the only destination in the region that saw a double-digit increase of 13% during this period.
China was the largest Asian source market into Asia Pacific with 36.6 million IVAs during the first quarter of 2019, up 4.80 million compared to the same period in 2018.