When will visitors come back to Asia Pacific?
PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy noted that, “This is first and foremost an unfolding human tragedy, with a dire loss of life and for millions more, a loss of income while businesses are closed, and many remain in self-quarantine or follow social distancing guidelines. We can only hope that this pandemic is brought under absolute control quickly and effectively, enabling the global travel and tourism industry to get back on its feet, re-employ the millions of people who lost their positions and create even more employment opportunities both directly and for the upstream and downstream sectors that rely on it”.
“While there are obvious reductions in arrivals, there still remains a significant volume of visitors expected into Asia Pacific through 2020, with just under half-a-billion such travellers still generating almost US$600 billion, with each visitor still requiring and expecting the attention and service that this region has become famous for delivering,” he added. “Nevertheless, perceptions are difficult to change so recovery might take longer in the minds of many potential travellers. This however gives us time to reconsider the position we had created up to 2019; if numbers return only slowly, the obvious imperative will be to offer travellers such incentives that they remain in the destination longer and see more of what it has to offer. The metric should therefore shift from the numbers of arrivals, to time spent in any one destination and the dispersion across it. Receipts will then follow.”