The Asia Pacific travel market surged 17% in 2010, surpassing the US to become the second largest regional travel market worldwide, according to a new report by travel industry research company, PhoCusWright. Fuelled by a recovering economic climate and strong growth in key emerging markets, the travel industry in Asia Pacific grew faster than all other regions to reach a value of US$255.8 billion in 2010.
Just released, PhoCusWright’s Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview reveals a regional travel market poised for significant online growth. The region quickly rebounded following a resilient response to the global economic downturn. While the European and US travel markets both declined 15% in 2009, Asia Pacific declined just 7% during that year, with China and India growing slightly on local currency terms. According to the report, rising internet access and a shift toward internet purchasing will help propel strong double-digit growth in Asia Pacific’s online leisure/unmanaged business market through 2012, when gross bookings will reach US$70.6 billion.
“At more than US$53 billion in 2010, Asia Pacific’s online travel market is no longer nascent. But online travel penetration varies widely, reflecting the extraordinary differences among Asia Pacific’s individual markets,” said Douglas Quinby, PhoCusWright’s Senior Director of Research. “In more mature markets such as Japan and Australia/New Zealand, online penetration gains are slowing, while emerging online markets like India and China are now driving growth across the region,” he added.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed in 2010 that Asia Pacific had overtaken the US to become the world’s largest aviation market. The region saw 647 million passengers in 2009 – about nine million more than the US – and is expected to cater for approximately a third of global traffic by 2013.