Pacific Asia Travel Association said Wednesday that the region is seeing a rebound in tourist activity as the sector recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The forecast covers 39 Asia Pacific destinations, with PATA has outlining three scenarios. PATA is a non-profit membership-based association which aims to develop the tourism industry in the Asia-Pacific region. 

In the first scenario, international arrival numbers are seen at around 705.0 million 2023, or 3.3% higher than 2019 pre-pandemic . This is seen rising to 881.4 million in 2024 and then to 952.7 in 2025, which are 29% and 40% higher than 2019, respectively.  

PATA Chair Peter Semone said, “While these forecasts are extremely encouraging, hurdles still remain, and the travel and tourism sector will require ongoing vigilance and operational flexibility as these issues present themselves over the coming years.” 

The middle scenario sees a slower but still strong recovery. In 2023, 516.1 million international visitor arrivals are seen, which would only be 76% of 2019’s total visitor arrivals. This would then increase to 728.4 million in 2024 and 788.2 million in 2025, topping 2019’s figures by 6.7% and 16%, respectively.  

In the worst-case scenario, international visitor arrivals fail to hit pre-pandemic levels even in 2025.  

This scenario expects arrivals of around 389.6 million in 2023, then 555.5 million in 2024 and 613.2 million in 2025. 

This means that 2023 international visitor arrivals would be just over half of the total seen in 2019. Meanwhile, 2024’s arrivals would be 81% of 2019’s total and 2025’s would be 90% of 2019’s total international visitor arrivals.  

The tourism industry still faces a myriad of challenges despite the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic being over. 

The conflict in Ukraine, a softening global economic outlook with rising inflation and the increased costs of international travel are all adding to the woes of the industry, Semone said. 

Looking at one of the region’s most important sources of international visitors, China is expected to show a strong rebound.  

“These most recent forecasts indicate that very strong annual growth rates [of visitors from China] are expected in 2023 under each of the three scenarios, but not passing the 2019 volumes until 2024 under the mild and medium scenarios. 

“Despite very strong annual increases in arrivals from mainland China to Asia Pacific destinations, under the severe scenario, that number is still expected to lag the 2019 peak by around six percent by the end of 2025,” PATA said.

The report was sponsored by financial services company Visa, using data and insights from market research company Euromonitor International.

The report has been specially designed for use by National Tourism Bodies, with each one having direct applicability for both inbound and outbound operators as well as suppliers to and within a destination, PATA said.

The full report is available here for USD4,000.00.