. Asia Pacific’s tourism industry overtakes Europe | Meetings & Conventions Asia

Asia Pacific’s tourism industry overtakes Europe

Tourism made up 9.3% of Asia Pacific's GDP according to a Mastercard survey. In absolute terms this translates into US$2.27 trillion and 153.7 million jobs in 2015 making Asia Pacific's tourism industry the largest in the world by GDP contribution and employment. The region overtook Europe as the world's biggest tourism market in 2014.

This has been attributed to the underlying demographics of ASEAN, India and China, said Matthew Driver, group executive, Global Products & Solutions. This will in turn impact tourism assets in the pipeline to serve these segments as the number of tourists grow and governments seek to attract quality tourists.

Asia Pacific made up 23% of the world's international overnight arrivals and 30% of its international tourism receipts. It has been the fastest-growing region for international tourism since 2005, with South Asia and Southeast Asia as the two fastest-growing sub-regions at 8.6% and 7.9% respectively.

By 2020, Asia Pacific is expected to attract 500 million visitors and China continues to be the greatest source market. Said Driver, "The tourism industry in Asia Pacific is continuing to show robust growth with an increasing number of destinations receiving well over five million visitors a year driven by increased consumer wealth particularly from China."

Tourists spent US$15.2 billion in Bangkok, followed by US$14.4 billion in Seoul and US$14.1 billion in Singapore. Bangkok attracted 21.9 million visitors; Singapore attracted 11.8 million visitors; and Tokyo attracted 11.8 million visitors in 2015.