APAC Region Breaking Travel Records in 2024. Why

APAC Region Breaking Travel Records in 2024. Why?



  • What does growing tourism in the APAC region mean for businesses?

  • Why are more Indians Traveling Than Before?

  • Why are APAC destinations trending?

According to a report released on 16th May 2024 (Thursday) by the Mastercard Economics Institute, the global travel sector is breaking boundaries in 2024 as consumer spending on tourism remains robust and passenger traffic soars. And the APAC Region is in the limelight.

The institute’s fifth annual report, “Travel Trends 2024: Breaking Boundaries” provides insights into the burgeoning travel industry, especially the Asia Pacific region.

The institute anticipates this momentum will continue as consumers prioritise meaningful experiences and allocate more travel budget.

According to the report, until March 2024, people are spending more on travel and flying. Compared to 2019, travellers are adding an extra day to their trips so as to enjoy more and create more memorable experiences. Furthermore, APAC destinations are trending in a big way as they comprise half the top 10 hot spots that have demonstrated the greatest momentum among travellers.

Which countries fall in the APAC region?

Australia Bangladesh Brunei Burma (Myanmar)
Cambodia Canada China Chile
Cook Islands Fiji French Polynesia India
Indonesia Japan Kiribati Laos
Malaysia Maldives Marshall Islands Micronesia
Mongolia Nauru Nepal New Zealand
New Caledonia Niue North Korea Pakistan
Palau Papua New Guinea Peru Philippines
Russia Samoa Singapore  Solomon Islands
South Korea Sri Lanka Thailand Timor-Leste
Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu Vietnam & United States

Which countries fall in the APAC region

So, there it is. There are a total of 36 countries in the APAC region and they are becoming trending destinations to go for a vacation. 

What’s the reason behind it? Let’s explore this more.

Why are APAC destinations trending?

2024 showcases strong growth in the travel industry as travellers are breaking records with unprecedented spending and passenger numbers. Here is a list of trends seen this year;

Trends Description
Record Spending 9 out of 10 highest spending days for cruises and airlines
Higher Passenger Traffic 15. 9 million Americans & 3 million arrivals in Japan in March 2024
Longer Vacations Travellers extend their trips by one day extra, especially in lower-cost destinations
Event-driven travel Concerts and sports are boosting travel
Top growth destination Japan, Ireland, and Romania saw the highest increase in tourist spending compared to last year.

Why are APAC destinations trending

How is it helping businesses?

Moreover, travellers like to travel for big events like Solar Eclipses, Taylor Swift concerts, Carnival in Brazil and the Cricket World Cup. These events lead to businesses earning profits as people are spending more, for example:

  • During the 2024 Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, spending at restaurants, bars, and grocery stores went up by 156%
  • Hotel sales in the path of the US solar eclipse increased by 71%
  • Restaurants within 2.5 miles of Taylor Swift concert in 2023 saw a 68% increase in sales
  • Additionally, consumers spending money on cruises (while onboard and for booking) had surpassed 2019 records
  • A weak Yen and Japan’s favourable exchange rate, help it remain the front-runner throughout 2024, benefitting Japanese businesses catering to tourists and the local economy

How Is Growing Tourism Creating Local Job Opportunities?

The growing tourism industry in the APAC region creates job opportunities for the locals. As hotels would need more staff to accommodate guests. Similarly, restaurants would require additional servers and chefs to cater to customers’ influx. Tour companies may expand their teams to handle the increased demand for guided excursions.

Support For Local Economy

Let’s take the example of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia. It is a community of talented artisans specialising in traditional Balinese crafts–wood carving, painting, and making silver jewellery When tourists visit the place to experience its culture and purchase handcrafted souvenirs and artwork directly from the artisans or local shops, they provide a steady source of income for the artisans.

Promotion of Sustainable Practices

As tourism grows in APAC countries, there is a greater emphasis on sustainable practices to preserve natural resources and protect cultural heritage sites. Businesses would adopt eco-friendly initiatives, such as implementing recycling programs, reducing plastic usage, supporting community-based tourism initiatives and attracting environmentally conscious travellers, thereby contributing to the long-term sustainability of the tourism industry.

These are some of the ways that growing tourism will help businesses grow.

India Comes Into The Picture

Domestic Travel within India has also seen a remarkable uptick, with passenger traffic up by 21 per cent as compared to 2019 levels. For instance, Chennai reached a significant milestone in March 2024, with the total passenger traffic surpassing pre-pandemic levels-marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing recovery of the travel industry. Likewise, Bengaluru too has maintained domestic passenger traffic levels above the 2019 records.

Why are more Indians Traveling Than Before?

According to reports compiled for January-March 2024, there is a shift in traveller preferences. Subsequently, in the first quarter of 2024, Indian airports witnessed a record 97 million pass-throughs for domestic and international air traffic. 

Here are some more statistics for this burgeoning trend:

  • The burgeoning middle class, additional route capacity, and a strong desire to travel are strengthening this travel boom in 2024.
  • Domestic passenger traffic is up 21% compared to 2019 levels while international passenger traffic is up 4%
  • Furthermore, the APAC destinations with the longest increase in trip duration between 2019-2024 are India (+2 days), Vietnam (+ 2 days), Indonesia (1.9 days), and Japan (+1.4 days), largely due to their lower growth in hotel prices during this period compared to other market.

Which are the top trending Summer destinations in June and Aug 2024?

While Japan was the top trending destination during the last 12 months, looking ahead Munich ranks as the number 1 destination as it will host the UEFA Euro 2024 football championship in June. Tokyo comes in a close second while Bali (#6) and (#7) are among the top ten cities.

Also Read: Explore These Green Gems: Top Eco-Friendly Travel Destinations

Bottom Line

The Asia Pacific (APAC) region is witnessing a resurgence in tourism. Strong consumer spending, increased passenger traffic, and a preference for meaningful experience are the reasons for this growth. Moreover, this tourism boost will create job opportunities, support local economies, and promote sustainable practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many APAC countries are there?

A total of 36 countries are always considered to be in APAC.

Which is the biggest city in APAC?

Japan’s largest city, Greater Tokyo is the most populous city in the Asia-Pacific region.

What is APAC known for? 

The region is known for its rich cultural diversity and continual innovation.

What is the full name of APAC?

APAC stands for Asia-Pacific. It encompasses East Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, and Oceania.

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