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SPTO releases 2019-2024 Pacific Tourism Forecast

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) has released its inaugural Pacific Tourism Forecast for 2019-2024. The forecast has noted a two percent growth of international visitor arrivals to 18 countries in the Pacific in 2018. This equates to a total of 2.14 million visitors, which is 38,941 more than the 2.10 million arrivals recorded for the same period in 2017.

The Pacific Tourism Forecast attributed the growth of the regional tourism sector to a positive global tourism trend, continued regional and national tourism marketing and improved connectivity. Moreover, infrastructure development and increasing travelers demand to the region were also noted as significant contributing factors.

 The Pacific Tourism Forecast is based on 2018 tourism performances in the region and given the positive global outlook there is great optimism that there will be a sustained, 3.3% on average, tourism growth in the Pacific region for 2019-2024.

 Highlights of the Pacific Tourism Forecast include:

 ·         By the end of 2019, with the inclusion of SPTOs two new member countries, Rapa Nui and Wallis & Futuna, it is forecasted that about 2.2 million international air visitor arrivals will be received across these Pacific Island destinations, at an annual growth rate of around 6.6% from 2018.

·         Consistent with the positive trend, tourism receipts (air arrivals) are forecasted to increase to an estimated US$4.2 billion in 2019 from US$ 4.0 billion in 2018.

·         Over this same period, arrival growth will however vary across each of the Pacific Island countries, ranging from 0.5% to 6.0 %, reflecting the national countries tourism initiatives and development scale.

·         Including cruise arrivals, total visitor arrivals (air and cruise) to the region are forecasted to reach 3.2 million in 2019.

·         Forecasts for arrivals from major source markets remain strong in 2019 for New Zealand, the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Europe and the emerging Asian markets. The intra-Pacific regional flows are also forecasted to remain steady at 5% for the period.

 By Pacific groupings, the Melanesian destinations accounted for 58.6% share of the total tourist arrivals (air) in 2018. This is forecasted to increase by 3.5% to 1.3 million in 2019.

Over the short to medium term, visitor arrivals (air) to the PICs, are forecasted to grow by an average of 3.3% and expected to reach 2.7 million in 2024.

 Risks that may affect the Forecast include, but are not limited to a slowdown in global economic or market conditions, the ongoing US and China trade war, increase in fuel prices, natural disasters and political instability.

 The Pacific Islands Tourism Forecast is an annual SPTO publication for member countries and private sector members.  The Forecast provides detailed analysis on tourist arrivals by destinations, source markets, air and cruise arrivals and earnings.  Figures are derived from reports provided by the National Statistics Offices and the National Tourism Offices of SPTO member countries.

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