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Domestic bliss - Asia - property market - analysis


After contracting nearly five per cent in 2009, foreign arrivals around the world are rebounding. According to a recent report released by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), International arrivals are estimated to have grown by seven per cent globally through the first six months of 2010. The Asia Pacific region in particular is leading the recovery, with international arrivals increasing 14 per cent year-over-year through June. Only the Middle East outperformed the Asia Pacific region, recording a 20 per cent increase in foreign arrivals.



Within Asia, a specific subset of markets experienced significant increases, with strong results from Sri Lanka (+49 per cent), Japan (+36 per cent), Vietnam (+35 per cent), Myanmar (+35 per cent), Hong Kong (+23 per cent), Macao (+23 per cent) and Singapore (+23 per cent). In spite of the political turmoil, Thailand (+14 per cent) also posted encouraging results.

As in previous downturns, such as the Asian financial crisis (1997-1998), the SARS outbreak (2003), and the tsunami (2004), Asia continues to demonstrate its resiliency. Tourism has been a driving force in the region—currently the second most visited region in the world—with 181 million international tourist arrivals (21 per cent of world total) and international tourism receipts of US$204 billion (24 per cent of world total) in 2009, as indicated by the UNWTO.

What a difference a year makes
This time last year, operators in Vietnam’s hospitality industry were staring into the abyss. Foreign arrivals from all major source markets were in decline. Sales were plummeting, and the end was nowhere in sight as forecasting was near impossible with lead times compressed to mere weeks rather than months. Long haul leisure travellers were the world’s scarcest resource at that time, and corporate incentive travel around the globe was handicapped by the AIG effect.


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