Young, rich Asians set the pace of int'l tourism

Young, rich Asians set the pace of int'l tourism

SINGAPORE - Asian millennial travelers, or young professionals aged 18 to 36, are setting the pace of global tourism with their rising income and their propensity to travel to different destinations across the globe.

Speakers at TravelRave 2013 here projected that by 2020, half of the global tourism spending will come from the estimated one billion millennial travelers in the region.

This year's most influential travel and trade festival in Asia, dubbed "Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market," was attended by tourism industry players from 73 countries.

It was reported at the trade show organised by Messe Berlin and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) that the Asia-Pacific region had become the largest travel market in the world.

"Backed by the emergence of economic powerhouses, especially China, India and Southeast Asia, the region has confirmed itself as one of the driving forces in world travel and has set another all-time high record. The Asia-Pacific travel market ousted Europe to become the world's biggest regional travel market in 2012, earning gross bookings of $326.2 billion and the impressive figure is expected to grow another 8 per cent in 2013," ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Borse) Asia said in a report released during the five-day mega-travel show that wrapped up yesterday.

The income, in tourism bookings, is expected to reach $362.2 billion at the end of the year, according to travel industry research group PhoCusWright.

Industry players-from hotels to airlines to government and private sector tourism groups-discussed the trends, challenges and opportunities facing the travel market in Asia at the show held at Suntec Exhibition and Convention Center here.

Chew Choon Seng, chair of the Singapore Tourism Board, reported that the Asia-Pacific region recorded a 7-per cent increase in international arrivals in 2012, the highest growth in the world.

Morever, Seng said the World Travel and Tourism Council projects Asia's travel and tourism sector to grow by 6 per cent over the coming decade, also the fastest in the world.

"Collectively, Asia has much to offer both as destination and origin of travel," Seng said in a speech at TravelRave Leaders Gala held at Singapore's newest iconic attraction, Gardens by the Bay.

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