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Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong listed as the top three destinations for travelers between now and 2010

Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong listed as the top three destinations for travelers between now and 2010 ( The Visa and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Asia Pacific Travel Intentions Survey “Determining Travel Preferences in 2009 and Beyond" has named Asia Pacific as the number one region for those intending to travel overseas in the next two years. Of the 5,554 people surveyed from 11 tourism source marketplaces around the world, 60 percent said they would travel to Asia Pacific. North America and Western Europe trailed Asia Pacific at 35 percent of respondents. The top three Asia Pacific destinations that leisure travelers surveyed were considering between now and 2010 were Australia (43 percent), Japan (37 percent), and Hong Kong (35 percent).

Meranda Chan, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei, and PATA board director, said: “That Asia Pacific was named the leading global leisure travel region by respondents in Visa and PATA's latest travel survey, reinforces the vital role this industry fills in the regional economy. PATA figures show that international arrivals to Asia Pacific destinations grew year on year by some 2.6 percent in 2008 - despite the economic slowdown, which created a serious impact on inbound traffic in the second half of the year. The industry accounts for more than 5.5 percent of the total gross domestic product in the region, underscoring the importance of travel and tourism to the vibrant economies of Asia Pacific."

Greg Duffell, president and CEO - PATA said, “Travel and tourism is a key source of jobs in the region. The top two global markets for travel and tourism employment are China with 74.5 million jobs and India with 30.5 million jobs. The region needs a constant supply of trained, ambitious service staff to fill this need and keep up with the growth we will continue to see in Asia Pacific."

While Asia remains a major source of tourism arrivals with travelers surveyed from Singapore (77 percent), Chinese Taipei (76 percent), Korea (75 percent) and China (70 percent) all indicating that they would travel within Asia Pacific in 2009 or 2010, long-haul travelers were also keen to visit the region. Respondents from the United States (40 percent) and France (32 percent) said they would visit Asia Pacific in 2009 or 2010.

Commissioned by Visa and PATA, the Asia Pacific Travel Intentions Survey “Determining Travel Preferences in 2009 and Beyond" was an online survey conducted by Synovate from August 7-28, 2008. The survey asked 5,554 respondents from 11 key Asia Pacific travel source markets (Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States) about past and future travel plans. For each market, respondents were internet users, aged 18 years or above, had traveled for holidays in the past two years or have the intention to do so in 2009 or 2010.

Favorite destinations

The current iteration of the Asia Travel Intentions Survey was expanded to include Australia and New Zealand as potential destinations for the first time.

Australia has made an impressive debut with 43 percent of people considering a trip 'Down Under,' American (58 percent), British (56 percent), and French (40 percent) respondents all listed Australia as their top Asia Pacific destination. Indians (61 percent), Singaporeans (61 percent), and Japanese (59 percent) said Australia was not only being considered but also the most likely destination for their next holiday.

Japan was the region's second most popular destination, with 37 percent of travelers considering a visit between now and 2010. Respondents from Chinese Taipei (66 percent), Hong Kong (54 percent), Singapore (48 percent), the US (42 percent), and Korea (40 percent) said they were most likely to visit Japan for their next trip. Japan was also more attractive for young travelers (18-24 years) than other age groups (52 percent versus 35 percent). Single people who also more likely than married people to want to visit (44 percent versus 33 percent).

Hong Kong was the region's third most popular destination, with more than a third of all respondents (35 percent) considering a trip there between now and 2010. While travelers from China rated Hong Kong the destination they most considered when traveling (45 percent), Singaporeans (52 percent) and Indians (49 percent) were more likely to rate Hong Kong as a travel destination.

Visa's Chan said, “There has been a tremendous rise in interest in Australian, Japanese, and Hong Kong cultures in the past few years - the image of the sun-kissed Aussie enjoying the inviting Australian landscape, Japanese mix of history, culture and creativity, and Hong Kong's shopping and dining have all helped drive regional and global fascination with these destinations. That fascination has clearly put these locations at the top of the Asia Pacific destination list."

According to the survey, the top three leisure destinations travelers actually visited in the past three years were China (32 percent), Thailand (31 percent), and Hong Kong (30 percent).

Susan Williams Visa Worldwide Pte. Limited Phone: 65 6437 5659 Email: Dale Lawrence PATA HQ, Bangkok Phone: 66 2 658 2000 Email: Christine Hogseth-Gill Ruder Finn Asia Phone: 65 6336 0729 Email:

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