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ITB World Travel Trends report predicts 6.1% growth

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A growth of 6.1 per cent can be expected in 2016, according to the ITB World Travel Trends Report, produced by tourism consultancy, IPK International on behalf of ITB Berlin, one of the world’s largest travel trade shows.

Asia Pacific remains a leading growth market for world travel with a five per cent rise in outbound trips so far this year despite the slowdown in the Chinese economy.

The number of outbound trips made by travellers from Asia Pacific increased by about five per cent between January and August this year, according to preliminary World Travel Monitor figures. This followed a growth of 6.5 per cent in 2014. In comparison, the number of outbound trips worldwide increased by 4.5 per cent in the first eight months of 2015, the World Travel Monitor found.

Rolf Freitag, president, IPK International, said, “These are very robust figures and show that Asia Pacific has grown slightly faster than the overall worldwide outbound travel market this year, although somewhat more slowly than in 2014.”

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), inbound travel to and within Asia Pacific has also been growing this year. International tourist arrivals to the region rose 4.3 per cent over the first eight months of this year, .

At a sub-regional level, Oceania led growth with +6.6 per cent, followed by South-East Asia (+5.6 per cent), where Thailand showed a strong rebound after weaker results last year. Arrivals grew by 4.2 per cent in South Asia and by 3.2 per cent in North-East Asia, where Japan continues to show extraordinary growth.

The latest figures confirm Asia Pacific’s importance as a growth driver for world travel. Since 2007, the total number of outbound trips by travellers from the region (excluding Chinese travel to Hong Kong and Macau) increased by 65 per cent to a total of 170 million trips, according to World Travel Monitor figures. This growth was more than twice as much as the overall world growth between 2007 and 2014. Key trends in the Asia Pacific outbound market over this period include rises in short trips, beach holidays and city trips, along with a move to up-market hotels and higher average spending.

Looking ahead to next year, IPK predicts a 6.1 per cent rise in Asia Pacific outbound travel, based on its Travel Confidence Index, which measures travel intentions in the region for the next year. According to the index, 70 per cent of travellers in Asia Pacific want to travel at least as much in 2016 as this year, including a high 27 per cent wanting to travel more. Significantly, confidence remains high in China and double-digit growth is expected in 2016.

Martin Buck, Messe Berlin’s senior vice president/director, travel & logistics, ITB Berlin, said, “These very positive figures show that Asia Pacific remains the top growth market for world tourism. It is especially encouraging to see the high levels of confidence for outbound travel from China next year. We can look forward to another strong year for Asia Pacific outbound travel.”

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