According to the recently published PATA Annual Tourism Monitor 2018 Early Edition, the five Southeast Asian destinations that form part of GMS had a combined foreign arrivals count of almost 59.9 million in 2017.
This was a growth increase of 13 percent over 2016 and added 6.9 million additional foreign arrivals to the GMS total, year-on-year, while the growth for Asia Pacific grew at a slower rate of 5.8 percent.
Below is an overview of the key insights:
Collectively, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam accounted for more than 48 percent of the total foreign inbound count into Southeast Asia in 2017. As a bloc, these five destinations are coming close to equalling the volume of foreign arrivals into the other destinations of the Southeast Asia sub-region.
Within this cluster of GMS destinations, the annual growth rate since 2013 has generally been higher than that of Southeast Asia, with 2014 being the sole exception year.
Thailand and Vietnam dominate this GMS cluster with relative shares of 59 percent and almost 22 percent respectively in 2017. This represents a slight loss of share for Thailand since 2013 but an increase for Vietnam as that destination makes its presence in the international travel arena increasingly felt.
Asia remains as the dominant supplier of foreign arrivals into the GMS, and the relative proportion of arrivals from this origin region is becoming stronger, reaching just over 74 percent of all IVAs in 2017. Europe is the next strongest supplier of IVAs into the GMS but this relative proportion is on the decline, dropping to well under 14 percent in 2017.
At the individual origin market level, the top ten strongest generators of additional foreign arrivals into the GMS between 2016 and 2017, included China and the Republic of Korea in the top two positions, with the former adding almost three million additional IVAs over that period and the latter more than 1.1 million additional IVAs.
The foreign inbound mix characteristics for the GMS destinations in 2017 differed slightly from the mix into Southeast Asia, with the former much more likely to see the relative proportion of arrivals from China to be much higher, with a slightly higher relative proportion coming from Lao PDR and Vietnam. On the other hand, there were relatively fewer foreign arrivals in the mix from Singapore, Indonesia and to a lesser degree, Brunei Darussalam.
Obviously, there could be opportunities for both the GMS and the other destinations within Southeast Asia in levelling out this relative distribution.