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In its latest quarterly international visitor arrivals forecast, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) predicts that 39 Asia Pacific destinations will have step-wise annual increases beginning in 2022 and continuing to 2024 across all three of the mild, medium, and severe scenarios.

IVAs recovery rates for visitors into and across Asia Pacific is predicted to reach between 25-48% of the volume of 2019, with the numbers reflecting the range of potential outcomes from a severe to a mild scenario. This represents a solid improvement over the 16-18% range of 2021 and heralds the beginning of a continued growth trend to 2024.

According to the study from PATA, the number of foreign arrivals into and across Asia Pacific is still projected to either reach parity with the 2019 position (medium scenario) or be well above it (mild scenario) by 2024. The severe scenario warns however that a possibility still exists for conditions to deteriorate once again – with multiple influencing factors including the ongoing pandemic continually evolving, the Ukraine/Russia crisis, escalating jet fuel prices, and limited air capacity and routes, plus industry-wide staff shortages.

While annual growth is predicted to occur for each of the 39 destinations covered, between 2022 and 2024, there will of course be some variations. This is illustrated by the differences in relative positions for each of the three destination regions of Asia Pacific.

At the individual destination level, recovery rates vary broadly in 2022 and are predicted to range from less than 15% to almost 99%, while in 2024, they range from 86% to 120% under that same scenario. Overall, however, projections are now for Asia Pacific to reach IVAs of 510-832 million in 2024, depending on which scenario plays out over that period.

As PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera said: “While a positive turning point is predicted to occur in 2022 for all the 39 Asia Pacific destinations covered in PATA forecasts, many market variables are currently influencing travel and significant challenges still lay ahead. While the momentum for international travel demand is obviously increasing, multiple challenges need to be navigated by the global travel and tourism sector.

“From emerging new strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to escalating jet fuel prices, the spectre of rising inflation to the current geo-political conflicts, these variables are concerns in the face of global pent-up demand to reconnect and travel.”

Ortiguera also reminded the travel and tourism sector that, “safety, wellness and smooth travel experiences are top of mind as needs for post-pandemic travellers. It’s important to provide clarity in processes and deliver good customer support in the face of ever-changing circumstances.”