Global Travel Industry Association (GTIA) predicts Asia-Pacific will be the world’s largest travel region by 2016

Asia Pacific set to lose title as the world’s largest travel region

The world’s largest travel region will lose its title to Singapore in 2016, the Global Business Travel Association (GTIA) said in a forecast published on 22 December.

In its annual global travel surveys and in a separate report on global travel trends, the firm said there would be a net loss of 3,300,000 annual travellers from the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region this year, offsetting a 2,600,000 gain from North America. This will leave the region with a total of 1,900,000 annual international travellers by 2016, a loss of one million annual visitors.

This means that travel to the region is likely to be down by 2 per cent this year, and 5 per cent by 2016, compared with last year.

The region’s top five markets in terms of volume are Japan, China, United States, Britain and Australia. The top three in terms of value are Japan, China and Australia, followed by the United States. As a global travel region, the Pacific has the lowest in-bound market share at 4 per cent of the market, and the highest outbound market share at 42 per cent.

The Asia-Pacific region, which stretches from Southeast Asia to West Africa, will be the world’s largest travel region by 2016, said the GTIA, and now a key global market in terms of inbound tourism.

However, “the global economy is becoming increasingly globalised with growing trade in services that have taken away the attraction of regional destinations, as evidenced by the rapid rise in the number of international air passengers carried in China during the past five years,” said GTIA Chief Executive Officer Mike O’Brien, who is also a board member of the International Air Transport Association and founder of travel agency Groupo.

The report said “the Asia Pacific, which now accounts for approximately 12 per cent of global tourism and is the number one foreign

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