Strengths of the recovery of tourism in APAC in 2022: PATA
The new mid-year review of PATA’s 2021-2023 Asia-Pacific visitor forecast points to a difficult year ahead in 2021, but with a recovery thereafter, albeit in a very uneven fashion.
The latest forecast is based on the most recent data and information at its core, amid the extreme volatility in the travel and tourism sector caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting containment policies and measures to prevent its continued spread.
With the original PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2021-2023 report, projections for this period were made using estimated baseline data for 2020, albeit on the latest data for each of the 39 destinations in Asia Pacific. In the months so far, however, not only has new data become available, but a series of other factors have also emerged, leading to this scheduled revision of the forecast with these new developments taken into account.
Across all 39 Asia-Pacific destinations, the difference between the estimated values used in the original forecast and those with the most recently released official arrivals data was a positive 3.8% gain between the two. . From an initial forecast of 121.843 million international visitor arrivals (IVA) in 2020 in the original series, the actual numbers can now be updated to 126.475 million.
However, contraction rates and loss of arrivals remain severe, with an overall reduction between 2019 and 2020 of more than 577 million foreign arrivals. These losses, unfortunately, are expected to continue through 2021 for most sub-regions, in all scenarios. The exception is Asia, which is expected to experience positive annual growth of nearly 51% year-on-year under a moderate scenario.
This singular result can be expected to push the overall position of Asia-Pacific to an annual increase of just over 27%, between 2020 and 2021, but only under a moderate scenario. . All other positions remain negative over this period.
The good news, however, is that 2022 is looking promising, with annual increases at all levels, ranging from gains of 105% to 320% in the mild scenario, to between 8% and 75% even in severe conditions. scenario. However, it is important not to be seduced by such large annual percentage increases, because despite these gains, the absolute volume of arrivals remains well below the 2019 benchmark for IVAs, even until 2023 in some scenarios. .
The results expected for 2021 represent at best only 23% of the volume of 2019. In 2022, this figure should increase between 27% and 61% depending on the scenario, to reach between 51% and 99% by 2023, again. , depending on the scenario that prevails at that time.
The increase in annual arrivals between 2020 and 2021 in Asia under a moderate scenario is expected to come mainly from source markets in Northeast Asia, with the Russian Federation also adding a welcome increase in numbers. Collectively, this group of the top five source markets is expected to add an additional 29 million IVAs in Asia between 2020 and 2021, which is roughly 80% of the expected increase in the region during this period.
Along with the increase in volume, there will likely be significant annual percentage growth gains in Asia between 2020 and 2021. While these increases are more than robust, the actual impact on the absolute volume of arrivals is minimal, however. , they represent a strong interest for the region of destination and are certainly worth monitoring over time to assess longer-term potential.
Liz Ortiguera, CEO of PATA, explained: “Expectations of a return to the past should be set aside and more attention should be given to source and destination markets best prepared to stimulate the recovery in Asia. Peaceful. The travel recovery is being driven by a complex range of factors ranging from varying market policies regarding virus control and containment to feelings of local citizens about vaccine uptake.
“Success will come from those who effectively implement best scientific practices to control the pandemic in their home markets in order to restore both source market government and consumer confidence. In the travel industry, a “due diligence” approach to the delivery of services and products will promote a more sustainable recovery.
“On a positive note, our forecast calls for pent-up demand for travel experiences in the Asia-Pacific region. Flexibility in marketing and providing new experiences to engage travelers as the corridors open up will be essential. “