Asia can look to demanding 2008: Abacus
Wednesday, 5 March 2008: The Asian aviation sector need not spend too much time worrying over global economic woes, as the market looks set for another year of stellar demand, says Abacus International.
With the release of a new report, Abacus claims that the Asian travel sector does not appear to be much impacted by the US and global credit crunch so far.
“People around the world still have money and seem set on travelling in the coming year despite the belt-tightening that will be going on globally,” said Don Birch, Abacus International President and CEO.
“Abacus along with the other travel associations sees Asia Pacific passenger numbers increasing 5 - 6% in 2008,” he adds.
“The continued growth is a positive indication of the maturity and robustness of the region’s travel and tourism industries, but there is no doubt there will be volatility in the coming year. However, in that volatility there will be opportunities.”
Abacus reports that the number of flights globally in January 2008 was 2.5 million, which is a 4%, or an additional 91,000 flights, increase on the same period last year.
To take advantage of growth, “Travel agents will need to work hard to capitalise on past gains and continue to grow their business over the coming months.”
Birch warns that to catch the wave of growth that online travel promises, travel agents must stay informed on new technologies.
“This means a move towards diversification of product offerings and strategies to deal with an increasingly fractured travel distribution sector,” said Birch.
Numbers are positive, as recent records show that offline sales still make up the lion’s share (89%) of travel sales in Asia.