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Regional Perspective

Interview: Regional Perspective
Great! So I guess you have give us a very good overview on the tourist industry from global perspective. I understood that in recent years, you have spent quite some of your time in helping the countries in Asia Pacific. So if I would ask you to highlight a few features about tourism development in Asia, what would you say? Again you go back to the statistics. If you look at global statistics, when I was talking about 1950s, for example, I think the figures at about 78 percent of all international tourist movements took place in Europe and mainly in Western Europe.
So if you look at those, and I think then the other maybe 15 percent was in north America, Mexico, United States, and Canada. So five percent of global movements was the rest of the world. It was nothing. But now we are finding that many tourists are traveling outside those former hotlines, and one of the most dominant and attractive areas for tourism is Asia. I know you can develop and the demarcate into different regions.
If I can use the word loosely at the moment, Asian countries then have benefited from the growth of tourism because of their attractive destinations, and also because governments have recognized the benefits that tourists and tourism can bring and are prepared to fund development as are the international lending institutions. So Asia’s become a very important recipient of tourists. But there’s another side to this. That is as standards of living in Asia are developing and as the so called disposable income is rising. Then more and more Asian people are becoming travelers themselves. They are traveling intra-Asia that is within the region and certainly within the ASEAN countries.
But also as wealth grows, what you find in Asia is the growing number of people who will recall middle class. And it’s the middle class then who move from domestic to intra-regional to become international tourists. If you take a country like India, our best estimate in India, is the middle class would constitute about 350 to maybe 500 million people. That is a huge market. And in China it’s probably developing the same. So these are the big changes. It’s not just Asia as a tourist receiving area but it’s also becoming more important as a generating area with benefits for countries within Asia, but also contributing very substantially to world tourism growth.

In this interview, professor Hanqin Qiu and professor Carson Jenkins will move their discussion to regional tourism development issues.

Professor Jenkins highlighted a few features of tourism development in Asia.

What are the characteristics of tourism development in your area?

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