Berlin (2009-02-26)

ASIA'S inbound international arrivals growth of six per cent from January to June 2008 turned to a two to three per cent deficit in the second half, but 2009 could be an even more challenging year, according to initial findings of the ITB World Travel Trends Repo..." />
 
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ITB report: 'Asian demand slows, but bright spots remain'
 
Berlin (2009-02-26)

ASIA'S inbound international arrivals growth of six per cent from January to June 2008 turned to a two to three per cent deficit in the second half, but 2009 could be an even more challenging year, according to initial findings of the ITB World Travel Trends Report.

Continued economic downturns in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan are expected to hit travel across much of Asia.

However, Dr Martin Buck, director of the Competence Center Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin, which commissions the ongoing research, said: “It is still possible that Asia could start to recover before end-2009. Initial findings in the report still point to modest overall growth in outbound travel demand from Asian markets in 2009.

“We expect shorthaul travel to gain at the expense of longhaul demand. And if oil prices stay low, there could be another surge in low-cost flights in the region.”
 
Japan remains the only Asian outbound travel market to rank among the world's top 10 source countries for travel and tourism, with the Japanese making about 16.5 million trips in 2008 a 1.5 million drop on 2007.

While China's official outbound trip count is much higher, at around 40 million, some 70 per cent of these trips are to Hong Kong and Macau. Non-Hong Kong and Macau outbound trips were 13 to 14 million. This was still 14 per cent up on 2007, according to official Chinese data.
 
Residual travel demand from China in 2009, despite rapidly slowing economic growth, will mean China remains a much sought-after source market this year.

The final tourism results for 2008, with an update on prospects for 2009, will be published  in March in the ITB World Travel Trends Report 2009.
 
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