Keynote speakers and panellists at the Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM) Ultratravel Forum, the opening event of ALTM 2010, all believe that Asia Pacific and particularly China will experience an inbound and outbound travel explosion over the next few years.
Mr. Charles Goddard, Asia Pacific Editorial Director, Economist Intelligence Unit, speaking at the ALTM Ultratravel Forum, said that the recent global financial crisis had tilted the economic gravity of the world from west to east, particularly China and India.
“China, despite the crisis, and because of economic stimulus packages, had continued to grow in the last 18 months by between 8% and 9%. This shift would be even more dramatic if China became more consumption driven as opposed to export led, and this was beginning to happen.
“Asia was the growth market “par-excellence” with 50% of global consumption being centered in the region in the next 4-5 years. An explosion in travel would be an offshoot of this phenomenon,” he said.
Mr. Nick Debnam, Partner in Charge, Consumer Markets, KPMG, China, said China was the second largest market for global consumer brands having surpassed the USA in the last 12 months.
“It will become the No. 1 market overtaking Japan in the next two years. Brand recognition was high and the reason for purchase was shifting from “showing off” to “self reward”, he said.
This highlighted the willingness of people to be open to an “experience” and this boded well for the travel industry.