When will Asia’s travel industry recover? Maybe as early as 2023


A new report indicates that the Asia-Pacific travel industry could be the only one in the world to recover by 2023.

This year’s Travel & Tourism Economic Impact report – an annual publication of the London-based World Travel & Tourism Council – shows that, compared to pre-pandemic levels, tourism revenues in 2020 have fallen further in Asia -Pacific (59%) than anywhere else.

Recovery efforts in the region have been moderate in 2021, with most countries there maintaining strict border restrictions. The contribution of tourism receipts to the regional gross domestic product increased by around 16%, less than the 28% in Europe and the 23% in North America.

However, the report shows that Asia-Pacific is expected to close the gap this year, with the amount of travel revenue contributing to the overall economy expected to grow by 71%.

Asia-Pacific travel is soaring this year – restrictions were eased first in India and Australia, then in Malaysia and Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, followed more recently by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan in the north.

The 10-year forecast

The WTTC report predicts continued gains for the Asia-Pacific travel industry in 2023, followed by another year of positive growth in 2024.

By 2025, he estimates that travel revenue will contribute 32% more to the region’s GDP than before the pandemic – a number that far exceeds that of all other regions except the Middle East. East (30%).

The report estimates that the average annual growth rate of the global economy will be 2.7% from 2022 to 2032. Yet, over the same period, tourism’s contribution to the global economy is expected to grow at an annual rate average of 5.8%, according to the report.

In Asia-Pacific, the numbers climb even higher, with tourism’s contribution to GDP expected to grow at an average annual rate of 8.5%, according to the WTTC.

Where will the travel jobs be

The WTTC predicts that the global travel industry will create 126 million new jobs over the next decade. Of that, he says, about 65% will be in Asia-Pacific.

Just under half of new jobs are expected to be in China and India, according to the WTTC.

WTTC job creation forecast between 2022 and 2032, by country

Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines are also expected to experience marked growth in tourism employment over the next decade, adding 5.3 million, 3.5 million and 3.15 million new jobs respectively.

The China Question

The report notes that Asia’s ability to fully rebound by 2023 could be compromised if China continues to restrict international travel.

At the 20th National Communist Party Congress on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country’s aggressive zero-Covid policy had achieved “positive results”, without indicating whether the policy would change.

To contain recent spikes in cases, authorities closed entertainment venues in Shanghai and schools in China’s central city of Xi’an, while placing millions of its citizens under new lockdowns.


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