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Asia Pacific Surpasses Europe to Become World’s Largest Regional Travel Market


Posted by Kevin Iwamoto on 12/17/2013

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For a few years now, I've been educating audiences worldwide about the impending shift of traveler volumes moving from US and EMEA travelers to Asia-Pacific travelers. According to the experts at PhoCusWright, it's happening sooner than later.

According to a new PhoCusWright Asia Pacific and Global Edition report, APAC surged past Europe to become the world's largest regional travel market in 2012, with US$326 billion in gross travel bookings. Despite economic uncertainty in some APAC markets, PhoCusWright projects 8% growth for the total APAC travel market through 2015.

In another significant sign of the rapid changes taking place across APAC, Japan has ceded its position to China as the largest APAC travel market. With double-digit gains through the forecast period, China will account for nearly a third of the regional travel market by 2015.

"Not only is China the largest APAC market, it is now the second-largest travel market worldwide, exceeded in gross travel bookings only by the U.S.," says PhoCusWright research analyst Chetan Kapoor.

Another significant finding in the study shows that, while the vast majority of APAC's travel bookings are still made offline, the region's online travel penetration is expected to jump from 24% in 2012 to 31% by 2015. The explosive popularity of web-enabled mobile devices is a significant driver of online travel growth across the region.

If you do business in the APAC theater, PhoCusWright's Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview Sixth Edition provides sizing and projections for the region's total and online leisure/unmanaged business travel markets from 2011-2015, including analysis by segment and country market. The report analyzes competitive dynamics throughout the region, with insight into gross bookings and growth rates in Australia-New Zealand, China, India, Japan, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia. For the first time, the report also sizes mobile travel in three major markets: China, Japan and India.

Some really interesting research is also shared in the report, specifically:

1-Analysis of key travel segments (air, hotel, rail and car)
2-Examination of the online travel agency landscape – local vs. global players and strategic developments
3-Review of social media and mobile trends affecting travel distribution

I highly recommend you check it out, as it will help you plan your APAC strategies for 2014 and beyond.

Resources:

– Blog postChina — The Tiger That's No Longer Crouching

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