Latest data highlights strong travel recovery throughout APAC region

Cheerful young woman traveling with Thai taxi boat and photographing with point and shoot camera
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Recent air ticketing data from ForwardKeys highlights that in the first three quarters of the year, APAC destinations show a travel recovery of 50 per cent compared to pre-COVID figures.

    The data comes as ForwardKeys took part this in the UNWTO and PATA-organised Tourism Forum in Guilin, China this week.

    On-the-book tickets for arrivals during the fourth quarter are showing a marked improvement, currently tracking just 25 per cent below the same moment in 2019.

    The Asia Pacific region is recovering the fastest but, the Middle East is already on track to exceed 2019 levels during the fourth quarter, and the Americas are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels.

    It’s worth noting that the total international outbound travel has been following a similar trend. The Americas are leading the way in terms of outbound travel recovery thanks to the strength of the US dollar and a significant increase in flight capacity.

    Diverse Q4 recovery trends across APAC. (Supplied)

    Q4 Travel Trends across the Asia-Pacific

    South Asia is showing a strong recovery with the number of visitors to India expected to surpass 2019 levels by 6 per cent thanks to fleet renewals and expansions at both Air India and IndiGo.

    In Oceania, Fiji is making notable progress towards recovery, despite accounting for only 8 per cent of the total arrivals in the region. Flight availability and staffing remain key challenges for inbound tourism.

    Domestic travel in Australia is up 17 per cent, while New Zealand is set to see a four per cent growth in Q4.

    Southeast Asia faces a 29 per cent gap compared to 2019 numbers, though Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea are showing promising signs of recovery in Northeast Asia.

    The power of events on tourism 

    The Asian Games have had a significant impact on travel to Hangzhou in China. During the week leading up to the Games, from September 18th to October 8th, flight ticket sales increased by an impressive 47 per cent when compared to 2019 levels.

    The event is expected to bring long-term benefits to Hangzhou, tourist interest has been sustained even after the games with flight bookings for Christmas already 11 per cent higher than in 2019.

    The music industry has also made a strong comeback in the post-pandemic economy, proving to be a major driver of economic growth, and bringing along various benefits that come with live concerts.

    Recent data on Taylor Swift’s 2024 tour shows a whopping 380 per cent increase in travel, compared to the overall Q1 outlook of 37 per cent. These travellers are mainly individuals or couples, with an average length of stay of 3 days.

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