The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has released first quarter 2019 data of international visitor arrivals (IVAs) into the 34 Asia Pacific destinations which has collectively hit a new record high of more than 124 million with a growth rate of 5.4% and an increase of over 6 million additional arrivals over the same period last year.
In the Americas region, Chile witnessed a large contraction in IVAs by 28.2%, leading to a slight decline in the total visitor arrival count of 2.3% for the region in this period.
Northeast Asia reported an impressive year-on-year IVAs growth of 14.5% during 1Q2019. Macao (+21.2%), Hong Kong (+16.8%) and Korea (+14.1%) led the pack in both percentage and volume increases, and collectively their additional volume of IVAs accounted for 89% of the sub-regional net gains of 5.5 million foreign arrivals.
Nepal and the Maldives dominated in the percentage growth terms in South Asia with solid increases of 19.4% and 15.0% respectively, contributing over 100,000 additional IVAs to the sub-regional total collectively.
In Southeast Asia, Myanmar outperformed its neighbours in terms of percentage growth, showing a double-digit increase of 27.8% for the quarter, boosted by strong traffic from China (+130.7%) and Korea (+89.6%).
In the Pacific region, both the Northern Marianas and Palau showed a downward trend of visitor arrivals during 1Q2019, marking 32.0% and 22.7% decrease respectively due to fewer flight services from China, Japan and Korea. French Polynesia, on the other hand, was the only destination in the region that saw a double-digit increase of 13% in this period.
In terms of origin markets, the top five Asian markets for IVAs into Asia Pacific destinations by volume increase generated a collective count of more than 54 million IVAs in this quarter with a 12% year-on-year growth. China, not surprisingly, outshined the group with 36.6 million, adding close to 5 million additional arrivals into the region over this period.