International Arrivals to ASEAN Forecasted to Reach Millions

GlobalData, a leading data analytics company, has forecasted that international arrivals to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will rise from 136.9 million to 142 million between 2019 and 2024.

This influx of global visitors will be primarily driven by the region’s rich heritage, natural attractions, tourist facilities, affordable connectivity, growing consumer class and geographic proximity to China and India.

According to GlobalData’s latest report, the ASEAN region was met with rising popularity before the pandemic. Inbound arrivals to the ten ASEAN member countries boomed at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7 percent between 2016 and 2019.

“Plummeting traveller confidence, coupled with some of the world’s strictest entry requirements, saw tourism numbers shrink to mere fractions of what they were in pre-pandemic times. GlobalData figures reveal that inbound flows to the ASEAN region declined by 78.8 percent YoY to 29 million in 2020,” said Hannah Free, Travel and Tourism Analyst at Global Data.

Due to the over-dependence on Chinese tourism, several tourism-dependent economies and businesses in the nearby ASEAN countries were negatively impacted due to travel restrictions.

In 2014, China accounted for just 13 percent of arrivals to the ASEAN region, which skyrocketed to 23 percent by 2019. However, despite the ASEAN region’s ability to attract a high influx of international travellers, this will be dampened the longer China adheres to its zero COVID-19 strategy.

“As the member countries go through phased re-openings and travel begins to resume worldwide, GlobalData forecasts the inbound flows to grow at a CAGR of 10.7 percent between 2022 and 2024, to reach 142 million international arrivals in 2024. Increasing integration and cooperation between the ten member states in tourism promotion and development spells for a brighter future for ASEAN economic recovery.”