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Latest Mastercard Report Forecasts Exponential Boom in Outbound Travel from Asia Pacific’s Emerging Markets

January 25, 2017 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

According to the Future of Outbound Travel in Asia Pacific (2016 to 2021) report by Mastercard, outbound travelers from Emerging Asia Pacific [1]currently outnumber those from Developed Asia Pacific[2] by one and a half times. Furthermore, this figure is poised to grow more than twice as fast over the next five years (7.6 percent vs. 3.3 percent CAGR).

Collectively, Asia Pacific markets are expected to grow by 6 percent annually from 2016 to 2021.

Not surprisingly, the largest outbound travel market in 2021 is expected to be China with 103.4 million trips – constituting 40 percent of all Asia Pacific outbound travel, nearly four times that of the #2 and #3 markets being South Korea (25.6 million) and India (21.5 million) respectively.

Forecasted international outbound trips from the top 10 Asia Pacific markets by 2021, include:

1.       China – 103.4 million 6.       Malaysia – 14.2 million
2.       South Korea – 25.6 million 7.       Australia – 11.8 million
3.       India – 21.5 million 8.       Singapore – 11.7 million
4.       Japan – 19.4 million 9.       Indonesia – 10.6 million
5.       Taiwan – 16.3 million 10.   Thailand – 9.1 million

Eric Schneider, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard Advisors, commented,
“The burgeoning middle class is driving the growth of outbound travel in Asia Pacific, along with other trends such as the emergence of the Asian millennial traveler and on the other end of the spectrum the senior traveler, as well as new technology and infrastructure developments. Asia Pacific travelers will continue to fuel global tourism growth in years to come, providing vast opportunities for businesses to benefit through the development of products and solutions that seek to improve their overall travel experiences.”

Myanmar is projected to be the fastest growing outbound travel market with a 10.6 percent annual growth rate over the next five years, followed by Vietnam (9.5 percent), Indonesia (8.6 percent), China (8.5 percent), and India (8.2 percent). Among developed Asia Pacific markets, the fastest growing are South Korea (3.8 percent), followed by Singapore (3.5 percent), Australia (3.5 percent) and New Zealand (3.4 percent).

Forecasted top 10 fastest growing Asia Pacific markets by international outbound trips (2016-2021 CAGR), include:

1.       Myanmar – 10.6 percent 6.       Sri Lanka – 6.1 percent
2.       Vietnam – 9.5 percent 7.       Thailand – 4.8 percent
3.       Indonesia – 8.6 percent 8.       Philippines – 4.4 percent
4.       China – 8.5 percent 9.       South Korea – 3.8 percent
5.       India – 8.2 percent 10.   Australia/Singapore/Malaysia – 3.5 percent


Outbound travel growth versus real GDP growth

According to the study, outbound travel is forecast to grow faster than real GDP[3]. Outbound travel growth tends to be higher than real GDP growth for emerging markets compared to developed markets (except for Japan) where outbound travel growth is much closer to their forecasted real GDP growth. Emerging markets such as Myanmar (10.6 percent vs. 7.7 percent), Vietnam (9.5 percent vs. 6.2 percent), Indonesia (8.6 percent vs. 5.7 percent), Thailand (4.8 percent vs. 3.1 percent) and China (8.5 percent vs. 6 percent) are expected to grow faster than real GDP.

Growth of outbound travel in relation to total number of households

By 2021, all developed markets in Asia Pacific (except for Japan) will have a ratio of over 100 percent[4] for outbound travel trips to total number of households. Households in Singapore (693.6 percent), Hong Kong (248.9 percent) and Taiwan (232 percent) have the highest propensity to travel abroad.

Among emerging markets, Malaysia is expected to record the highest ratio of 198.7 percent by 2021, whereas India (7.3 percent), Bangladesh (7.4 percent), Myanmar (14.6 percent) and Indonesia (15.4 percent) are among the lowest, indicating strong growth potential for outbound travel in these markets over the next ten to twenty years, assuming an increasing propensity to travel is combined with a healthy increase in households.

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