Kathmandu, May 22
International arrivals into Asia/Pacific destinations grew by a collective 7 per cent year-on-year during the first two months of 2012, according to preliminary data released by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) on Tuesday.
At this point Southeast Asia is the fastest growing destination, followed by South Asia, however, both sub-regions generated somewhat slower growth than last year while North America and Northeast Asia saw an encouraging recovery after relatively sluggish growth in 2011, the report said.
Growth in international arrivals into South Asia grew by almost 10 per cent after the first two months of the year; January saw a robust 12 per cent increase year-on-year, but this was followed with a somewhat slower 7 per cent increase in February.
The political situation in the Maldives has had a negative impact on its tourism industry. In February, among a total of four reporting destinations from the sub-region, only the Maldives recorded a decline (-5 per cent) – the first negative result since September 2009. Sri Lanka (+27 per cent) and Nepal (+14 per cent) maintained their strong pace of expansion, leading the sub-region in term of growth while in terms of volume gain, India remains the top destination with an additional 40,000 international arrivals added during the January-February period of 2012, relative to the same period last year, the report stated.
Southeast Asia reported growth of 14 per cent and 11 per cent in January and February 2012 respectively. Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam all showed a healthy expansion in foreign arrivals for both months while Thailand registered somewhat slower growth of 8 per cent and 2 per cent for the respective months. Thailand was, however, still recovering from the floods of 2011 and this is reflected in these figures. Overall the sub-region registered a 13 per cent increase in foreign arrivals for the first two months of 2012, the report said.