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Asia Minute: Asia’s Travel Boom Continues

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

2016 was another record year for tourism in Hawai‘i. It was also a record year for travelers from several Asian countries when it comes to spending money overseas. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


South Koreans spent more than $23 billion on overseas travel last year—up more than 7-percent from a year ago.

This week, the Bank of Korea said overseas spending using credit cards grew at more than triple the rate of domestic use of credit cards.  In all, more than 22 million South Koreans went to another country last year.

The increase in international travel is a theme across much of the Asia Pacific.

Outbound travel from Australia has been increasing for several years.  Spending by Australian tourists has also been rising steadily—topping 38 billion U.S. dollars in the latest fiscal year.

More than 17 million Japanese went overseas last year.  That’s an increase from the year before, but not a record.

For the real big numbers, you need to head to China where more than 122 million residents went overseas for visits in 2016 spending about $110 billion.

Here’s another way of looking at the statistics.  China is now the top source of international visitors for countries from Thailand, Japan and South Korea to Russia and the United Kingdom. But not the United States.

Top visitor markets for the U.S. include Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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