Amid record international travel to Asia this year,
the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s annual Travel Mart 2005
opened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with more buyers and sellers than
last year and representing more than six-dozen countries.
The Mart included special workshops on Russia,
China and India three of the key markets expected to drive much of
the tourism growth in Asia Pacific for decades to come.
In particular, China and India travelers through
the region are expected to be strong through at least 2007.
“India is considered to hold significant potential
as an outbound tourism market because of its expanding middle class
and its population size, which is comparable to China’s,” said John
Koldowski, PATA director of the Strategic Intelligence Center.
PATA’s Asia Pacific Tourism Forecasts 2005-2007
predicts all Asia Pacific destinations will experience growth from
India, particularly Cambodia (an average annual growth rate of 15
percent), Hong Kong SAR (15 percent), Australia (13 percent) and
Macau SAR (12 percent).
PATA officials also predicted strong growth in
international travel from China to Malaysia (36 percent), Korea (30
percent), Lao (20 percent) and Hawaii (20 percent). Koldowski
predicted that Chinese travelers would take around 32 million
outbound trips in 2005, 3 million more than 2004.
“Chinese travelers are becoming more intrepid while
the number of destinations with approved destination status
(currently 108) is increasing rapidly,” he said.