Asia Minute: Tourism is Booming—Especially in the Asia Pacific

Jan 19, 2017

Hong Kong
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Tourism remains a dominant factor in Hawai‘i’s economy. While full-year figures for 2016 aren’t out yet, visitor arrivals could hit another record. 2016 was also a strong year for tourism in Asia—with plans for growth this year as well. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Talk about globalization.

This week, the World Trade Organization said one out of every eleven jobs on the planet has some sort of link to tourism either directly or indirectly. The WTO reports that 2016 was another year of growth for the visitor industry. A business that has increased every year since the global recession of 2009.

The number of international travelers rose four percent last year compared to 2015, topping 1.2 billion people.

In the Asia Pacific, the growth of people venturing outside their own countries was twice that level.  Japan, Korea, and Vietnam have all reported very strong tourism numbers for last year.

And several countries are joining forces to boost those numbers even further.

This week, ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations launched a campaign to grow tourism to ASEAN countries by 10-percent this year---and to extend the average stay of travelers from six days to seven.

A key part of the program increases investment in education in the hospitality industry—to develop a future workforce.

And when it comes to developing trends for Chinese travelers, the state-run China Daily reports the fastest growing demographic for outbound tourism: women with rising incomes.