LOS ANGELES – World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer released in January 2011 reported that Asia and the Pacific is the first region to recover from the economic downturn, and has been growing strongly with international tourist arrivals at a new historic record of 204 million in 2010.
With this rebound, Malaysia is continuing to emerge as a top travel destination in Asia, appearing on several travel-trend forecasts such as the Specialty Travel Agents Association’s (STAA) Top 10 Travel Trends for 2011.
Kuala Lumpur ranked eighth on Skyscanner’s Top-Ten List of Emerging Overseas Destinations For U.S. Travelers in 2010, among cities such as Taipei, Beijing and Tokyo. Eight of the top ten biggest risers on the list are located in Asia, displaying the region’s growing popularity and growth in international and regional tourist arrivals.
“Although destinations such as London, Paris and Rome still remain the highest searched-for destinations, it is very interesting to see such an apparent trend for Asian cities when we look at which destinations have seen the biggest increase in searches from 2009 to 2010,” said Scot Carlson, North American Country Manager of Skyscanner.com. “I expect Asian destinations will continue to see a rise in popularity and may even usurp some of the more traditional and established destinations,” he added.
According to Abacus International, a global technology partner for the airline industry, Asia is en route to become the top travel region in the world as soon as 2015. New data shows that international arrivals into Asia grew by almost 13% in Asia, compared to the global average increase of seven-percent in 2010. Growth is expected to continue in 2011, but at a slower pace.