PATA launches new study on tourism dispersal among young Asian travelers

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The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has launched a new study focusing on the way young people from Northeast and Southeast Asia experience travel, and how the future expected increase in outbou

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The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has launched a new study focusing on the way young people from Northeast and Southeast Asia experience travel, and how the future expected increase in outbound travel from Asia can be managed to ensure that both large and small destinations can benefit from growth.

Following the Association’s first report on millennial travel trends “The Rise of the Young Asian Traveller,” the second study is sponsored by PATA Premier Partner Visa Worldwide Pte Ltd with the aim of helping PATA members worldwide to understand the implications of future outbound tourism growth from Asia. The final report, to be released by the end of 2015, will involve research gathered directly from young travellers in leading outbound markets in the region, as well as case studies and insights which PATA members are invited to contribute. During the study, PATA will carry out research through an online survey on the travel trends of young consumers in the Asia Pacific region. The survey will go online shortly and PATA encourages all members to assist in distributing the survey to provide the largest sample of young people as possible. In addition to providing further ground-breaking insights into the preferences of young Asian travellers, the report will also present practical advice on how public and private sectors can work together to encourage greater tourism dispersal in the years to come.

How to encourage tourists to go ‘off the beaten track’ and enjoy enriching experiences that benefit local communities has become a subject of major interest to destination management organisations around the world. PATA is making a concerted effort to align advocacy on the matter, while supporting national tourism organisations across Asia Pacific and beyond to understand and react to future growth.

“Over the next five years PATA forecasts arrivals from China will increase by 62% collectively across all Asia Pacific destinations, while arrivals from China to countries such as Thailand could be by as much as 220%. As a result, destinations that are already popular will have to implement strategies to control large numbers of visitors, while maintaining the quality of the visitor experience and protecting cultural heritage and natural resources. At the same time, this growth presents an opportunity for smaller destinations to benefit from the economic impact that young Asian travellers can bring, so long as this growth is managed responsibly,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy.

“As young people travel further and more frequently, they gain confidence to discover the hidden corners of the places they visit, spending with local businesses and gaining an authentic experience of the lifestyle of local people,” said Rajiv Kapoor, Head of Marketing & Cross Border Asia Pacific. “This will further add to the data and insights we have been building and we are pleased to work with PATA to help provide further information to the industry.”

The research and report on ‘Stepping Out of the Crowd’ is being managed by Peter Jordan, Senior Tourism Analyst at Toposophy Destination Marketing Agency and author of PATA’s first report on young travellers. Toposophy has significant experience in helping destinations to promote and manage their lesser-known assets, as well as an understanding of how to cater to NextGen travellers. “As the constantly-connected generation, Millennial travellers from emerging markets are better equipped than ever to explore further and encourage their friends to do the same via social media. I look forward to seeing how this theory works in practice as I speak to the contributors to this report,” said Peter.

The study on young Asian travellers who want to ‘step out of the crowd’ is just one of the many activities PATA is carrying out to promote a greater understanding of tourism dispersion in the coming months. The recently launched PATA CEO Challenge 2015 aims to promote and enhance the number of visitors to emerging destinations (regions, states, or provinces, and second-tier/third tier cities), while enhancing tourism development in the most sustainable manner. The award programme, through an exclusive partnership with TripAdvisor, will allow two winners to get a chance to work with TripAdvisor to develop and create a digital marketing campaign to showcase their destination, valued at US$500,000 each.

Furthermore, this year’s PATA Aligned Advocacy Dinner, to be held on November 2 at Stationer’s Hall in London will be based on the theme of tourism dispersal, and provide guests the opportunity to reflect on the importance of the need for both the public and private sectors to work together for the responsible development of emerging destinations.

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.