Asia’s hot tourism market is not only translating into increasing crowds of domestic and international travelers, it is also attracting healthy amounts of investment dollars. New airport construction and an increase in the number of low-cost airlines have made travel easy and affordable. As a result, more Asians are touring their own continent. The boost in internal tourism is good news for international tourists too, as many Asian cities are improving their facilities and services, and resorts are offering attractive package deals and using the most technologically-advanced guest service programs on the market.
China Leads the Way
Approximately $1.5 trillion are expected to be invested in the Asian tourism market over the next 10 years, more than any other region in the world. China, with an estimated 133 million native tourists visiting destinations across Asia, will receive the majority of these funds. The Chinese government is investing hundreds of billions of dollars to improve infrastructure and build new airports. The rest of the funds will go to Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, which are the fastest growing markets in the region, having experienced a rise of 8.2% in international tourism in the last year. Other localities that are not as high up on the tourism bar will see little if any of this money, an outcome that is criticized by international tourism boards.
Can China Carry the Weight?
The high reliance on China to carry the continent’s tourism market on its shoulders could be the one big risk for investors. While its tourist numbers are currently fueling Asian growth, its slowing economy could potentially drive the numbers down. Additionally, China has made no effort to expand its outreach, relying on just a handful of nearby countries. Among them is Thailand, which is mourning the recent death of its King, and as a result looks set to see its tourism revenue diminish this year.
So what will the tourism investment map look like in years to come? As you can see the answer depends on a wide array of factors, one of them being where world travelers like you and me choose to take our vacation. Have a great trip.