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Hotel & Tourism SMARTreport #43

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ASIA - PACIFIC FACTS &

ASIA - PACIFIC FACTS & FIGURES TOURISM BOOM CONTINUES IN APAC Asia-Pacific records 6% rise in international tourism in 2018 The World Tourism Organisation reports Asia and the Pacific recorded 6% growth in 2018, reaching 343 million international tourist arrivals. Arrivals in the region account for almost one-fourth of the worldwide total. Results were driven by Southeast Asia (+7%) where most destinations posted strong growth, particularly Vietnam, which has seen a surge in international tourists in recent years from virtually all world regions. Indonesia and Cambodia enjoyed double-digit increases in arrivals, thanks to continued robust demand from China and India. Thailand, the most visited destination in South-East Asia, as well as the Philippines also recorded strong growth on the back of higher visitor flows from China. Singapore also posted positive growth in 2018 thanks to good performance from several of its source markets. International arrivals in Northeast Asia increased 6%, led by the Republic of Korea which continues to rebound from a weaker 2017. Japan, which has become the third most visited destination in Asia following six straight years of doubledigit figure growth, also showed positive growth in 2018 despite a slight slowdown due to the impact of the typhoon Jebi and the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake which occurred in September 2018. Macao and Hong Kong also reported solid results. Meanwhile mainland China, the region’s largest destination recorded only 2% growth in the first three quarters of 2018. The opening of the Hong-Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Bridge in October 2018 was expected to enhance connectivity and boost tourist flows between the three cities of the Greater Bay Area. South Asia (+5%) also enjoyed a strong year, with Nepal profiting from higher inbound from India, China and European source markets thanks to a number of promotional campaigns. Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives all reported sound results RUSSIANS RUSH TO APAC: ARRIVALS UP 54.4% Geoffrey Gelardi – winner of the Mary Gostelow Award for hospitality – in background - Matthew Upchurch, CEO It’s boom of Virtuoso time and ILTM for Director Russian Alison Gilmore arrivals in Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries, thanks to a doubling in seat capacity on direct flights from Russia to selected APAC destinations. The trend is revealed in the latest findings from analysts ForwardKeys. Total international arrivals in the APAC region were up 3.8%, May 2018 to April 2019. However, Russia’s 54.5% increase meant Europe was the top growing origin continent, up 6.3%. Growth in Russian leisure travellers (up 62.8%) dramatically outstripped business travel (up 27.5%) and they’re staying for 16 nights on average. In line with general trends towards shorter lead times, the Russians are booking fewer days in advance, 65.8 days, down from 78.1 days INTERNATIONAL TOURIST ARRIVALS, 12 10 8 ASIA AND THE PACIFIC 7 5.6 6 6 6 8.7 6 (% change) 5.6 5 17/16 18*/17 January - December 4 2 3.4 3 0 Asia and the Pacific North-East Asia South-East Asia Oceania South Asia Source: World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) © * Provisional data

Hotel & Tourism SMARTreport #43 2019 Summer Edition 23 23 Mario Hardy Chief Executive, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) THE PATA VIEWPOINT PATA CEO Dr Mario Hardy talks about the future of his organisation, and that of tourism in the region PATA CEO Dr Mario Hardy has been over four and a half years at the helm of the organisation now. We asked him what he sees as being the “journey” for PATA for the coming years, and what his “vision” is in this respect. Four years ago, PATA started on a journey of becoming financially sustainable which we have now achieved. Moving forward, our focus is about increasing PATA’s influence and thought leadership, as well as taking a strong stance when we see threats or injustice in our sector. Most importantly, our mission has and will always be about increasing our members engagement with the tourism sector at large and between members in general. What are the key findings of your “Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2019-2023”? It would not be a surprise if I told you that we see “growth” across the Asia Pacific region over the next five years. However, it is fair to say that it is uneven growth, as some destinations are on the verge of having too much while others suffer from “undertourism”. The latter is especially true for the islands of the Pacific due to their remoteness and accessibility challenges. Should APAC nations be trying to diversify more in their source markets? At the recent ASEAN Tourism Forum in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, I had the opportunity to highlight to the ASEAN tourism ministers the pressing need for diversifying their source markets. I asked them to play a simple exercise by taking their number one source market and removing it from the equation, then see what impact it would have on their tourism economy. Why is this important, because we have seen in recent times how political and economic shifts can affect tourism arrivals into a destination. Like any good investment advisor would tell you, diversification and a balanced portfolio are key to a good investment portfolio, the same theory applies here. One of your favourite topics is AI. Why so? I am curious by nature and fascinated by the possibilities of AI in solving real-world human challenges, and equally concerned that humans may use AI for the wrong purpose. My fascination with the tech world is beyond my day job at PATA, however, AI is already starting to make an impact on the tourism sector. The tech to watch is voice assistance and how it will soon be an integral part of our daily life DIVERSIFICATION AND A BALANCED PORTFOLIO ARE KEY TO A GOOD INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO, THE SAME THEORY APPLIES HERE