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Asia and the Pacific will reach 535 million tourists by 2030

The theme of 10th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism trends and outlook was ‘Tourism 10:10 – Looking back to look forward’.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the People’s Government of Guilin of China celebrated between 20-22 October the 10th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook. The theme of this special 10th anniversary edition was ‘Tourism 10:10 – Looking back to look forward’.

With the collaboration of the Polytechnic University of Hong-Kong, a UNWTO Affiliate Member, theForum has become over the last 10 years a reference platform on global and regional tourism trends. Parallel to the 10th Edition of the Forum, the 5th Annual Conference of UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Observatories in China will take place also in Guilin on 20 and 21 October.

“Tourism is a strong contributor to poverty alleviation as recognized by the Sustainable Development Goals and to be here in Guilin is the perfect occasion to remind that the Government of the People’s Republic of China has prioritized this sector as a tool to lift 17% of the country’s impoverished population out of poverty by 2020,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

Tourism trends, changes in travel behavior and booking patterns and sustainable-related practices applied to the sector were some of the themes addressed throughout the Forum. The inclusive angle of tourism, a topic widely advocated by UNWTO, was also part of the discussions that addressed the participation of women in rural community tourism.

In 2015, Asia and the Pacific received 278 million tourists (+5% than in 2014) and will reach 535 million by 2030. International tourism generates xx billion USD in exports in Asia and the Pacific. As UNWTO elaborates in ‘Tourism 2030, A Global Overview,’ international tourist arrivals will reach 1.8 billion by 2030. By that time, Asia and the Pacific will gain most of the new arrivals. China is also a leading tourism destination – 4th in the world after France, USA and Spain with 57 million tourists in 2015.

The South East Asian region was the fastest growing in terms of international tourist arrivals in the first six months of 2016 with a growth rate of 9%, well above the global 4% increase registered in the world.