APAC region is world's fastest growing tourism market
Asia's tourism industry has maintained buoyant growth in the midst of the international financial crisis. According to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UN WTO), the Asia Pacific region is the world's fastest growing tourism market with an 8% growth in tourist arrivals in the first half of 2012. In contrast, there has been a 5% growth in the number of international tourists at a global scale to 467 million.
According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Asia now accounts for 40% of global tourism spend.
The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates travel and tourism's direct contribution to GDB within the Asia Pacific region at about US$553.7 billion.
Similarly, the UN WTO estimates the Asian tourism is expected to grow between 4% and 6% -higher than the 3% and 4% global average.
ITB Asia's executive director, Nino Gruttke, said: “If you combine growth with market size, it's a highly, highly attractive market. Asia in itself is growing so fast and it's becoming more and more independent. And I think it's the independency that a lot of players in this region are putting their money on.”
Singapore Tourism Board's assistant chief executive, Neeta Lachmandas, said: “This is a very nascent industry for Asia, and in that are opportunities for Asia as well. We have a huge concentration of islands and yet cruising in this part of the world is obviously not as mature as say in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean. So we think that more and more cruise lines are starting to see the opportunities in Asia and obviously because Asia is also becoming a big source market for cruise travel.”
The official opening of the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS) next week also signifies a breakthrough with Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises and Seabourn Cruises, which will make their homeport and maiden calls to Singapore.