Asia to assume travel leadership role, says report
Asia will become the top travel region in the world as soon as 2015, according to Abacus International. After a strong showing in 2010, Asia is on course to take become the largest region in terms of air transport, travel destination, business travel, utilisation of ancillary revenue models and mobile usage. According to Abacus data, the number of booking transactions for 2010 hit record levels, even higher than the pre-recession period back in 2007. The booking numbers were up 11 percent year-on-year. This coincides with international arrivals into Asia, which was up by almost 13 percent in Asia, compared to the global average increase of seven percent. Growth is expected to continue in 2011, but at a slower pace of four to six percent. “Asia today is an astounding force in the travel industry,” said Robert Bailey, Abacus International’s President & CEO. “It has well weathered the storm of the past few years and emerged at an all-time high, well poised to take over as the leading travel region. Despite rising fuel costs and the recent recession, the Asian travel industry has shown its resilience in its quick recovery and strong growth years in both 2009 and 2010. I foresee that 2011 will continue to be a high growth year for Asia, albeit at a slightly slower pace.” According to the latest Abacus booking data, independent traveller bookings in Asia remained strong in 2010, up 11 percent year-on-year. North Asia increased 14 percent, Southeast Asia eight percent and Southwest Asia ten percent year-on-year. In the airline sector, Asia Pacific international traffic now accounts for 29.6 percent of the world’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), with this figure expected to rise to around 33 percent by 2015, overtaking the US and Europe as the world’s largest air transport market.