Asia Pacific’s four major places account for almost 20% of global travel spending

Brad Wilsonby:


Travelers outbound from Asia Pacific market’s four key places contributed to one-fifth of the global travel spending last year, confirms a report by MasterCard. The report highlights the region’s brimming tourism appetite. 

MasterCard’s “Global Destination Cities Index: Origins” study revealed that in 2018, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and mainland China accounted for 18.5% of global travel spend within the top 200 cities of the world. The numbers saw an increase of 11% as noted a decade earlier.

The report extracted data from the World Travel & Tourism Council, one of the third-party sources. In an attempt to discover the world’s leading outbound travel markets, the report evaluated the number of global overnight tourists arrivals in 2018. This happens to be a segment of much wider research in the International travel industry by MasterCard, that will be released towards the end of 2019. 

The United States kept adding to the top 200 cities the largest amount of international overnight arrivals in 2018, representing 9.9 percent of the worldwide total. The report further stated that the Asia Pacific region experienced tremendous growth with a significant improvement over the last decade.  

Mainland China witnessed a transition from seventh place globally in 2009 to second in 2018, with the exception of Macau and Hong Kong, contributing 9 percent of global arrivals worldwide. Meanwhile, Taiwan and South Korea entered the top 10 for the first time, contributing 3.4% and 2.3% respectively. Japan fell two places down in the last decade with 3.1%. 

China dominated with 9.6% in terms of total travel expenditure, followed closely by the U.S. at 9.2%. As per the report, business and leisure travelers from the top 10 markets accounted for almost half (49.1%) of all overnight international visitor arrivals to the 200 destinations in 2018, accounting for 48.4% of their total expenditure. 

According to Rupert Naylor, the senior vice president of data and services for the Asia Pacific, MasterCard, the shift points to Asia pacific’s rapidly growing but still untapped travel market. 

Naylor said the most fascinating thing for them from the Asia Pacific perspective apart from the fact that the spend contribution of the region has almost doubled in the last decade, is that they have barely unveiled the surface with respect to the percentage of people traveling overseas.

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