Spending of tourists in key cities in Asia Pacific reached USD 91.2 billion in 2016, edging out Europe, which raked in USD 74.7 billion in tourist expenditure, and North America, which generated some USD 55 billion.
This was mainly driven by the shift in visitor spending “from things to experiences,” especially of Chinese tourists, Eric Schneider, vice president of Mastercard advisors in Asia Pacific, told Southeast Asian journalists here recently.
Of the top 10 global destinations in 2016, five cities are from Asia-Pacific, led by Bangkok. And China was the top source of tourists in all five destinations, Schneider said.
Chinese tourists surpassed Indonesian arrivals in Singapore, as well as Koreans visitors in Tokyo for the first time in 2016, he said.
He noted that “Asia-Pacific is where the growth is happening” and that the significant growth in tourism and travel spending in Asia-Pacific outpaced that in the rest of the world.
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