Asia Pacific travel industry to weather US recession: PATA

SINGAPORE, March 19, 2008 (AFP) – Tourism revenues in the Asia Pacific region are expected to surpass 4.6 trillion US dollars by 2010 and visitor arrivals should reach close to half a billion people, an industry association said Wednesday. A US recession is likely to affect the industry, but strong growth in key Asian economies such as China and South Korea will drive regional travel demand, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) said.

Despite high oil prices, stock market volatility and the impact of a possible US recession, travel arrivals are expected to increase between 7.0 and 8.0 percent annually during the period, PATA said in releasing its forecasts for 2008-2010.

PATA director John Koldowski said as much as two thirds of all international arrivals in Asia Pacific are generated from within the region.

“Due to the global nature of the business, Asian markets will inevitably be impacted by a slowdown in the US economy triggered by the credit crunch,” Koldowski said.

“However, the medium-term outlook for most Asian economies is very strong with growth rates well above world averages.”

He said localised issues and conflicts, including political and civil unrest in some countries, are a bigger danger to tour