By Daniel Chigundu
INTERNATIONAL tourist arrivals have increased in all regions since the start of the year, driven largely by the Asian and Pacific markets.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the drive by the two markets is significant considering that they account for about 29 percent of international tourism receipts.
In a statement UNWTO said “international arrivals have increased in all regions since the start of 2018, continuing the strong trend of previous years.
“The strong growth is led by Asia and the Pacific (+8%), especially South-East Asia (+10%) and South Asia (+9%) where growth has already surpassed that of 2017 when Asia saw a 6% increase in international arrivals.
“This is significant, considering that Asia and the Pacific represent around 29% of international tourism receipts”.
Asia is a strong market in terms of international arrivals considering that it consists of China the world’s largest source market of outbound tourists with about 120 million Chinese nationals reported to have travelled abroad in 2015.
According to the China National Tourism Organisation (CNTO), China will provide as much as 600 million outbound tourists by 2020 making it a very lucrative market.
Meanwhile, Vynn Capital a South-East Asia based early-stage venture capital firm has since partnered with the UNWTO to help Asia’s tourism sector through facilitating entrepreneurship and innovation.
Through this strategic partnership, Vynn Capital and UNWTO will collaborate to create a framework and policies to support technology startups that are addressing opportunities and challenges in the region’s tourism sector.
Both parties will work together to encourage traditional industry players such as hotel groups, property groups and food companies to adopt digital strategies, as well as to encourage more investment by the private sector into technology companies.
Vynn Capital will act as UNWTO’s partner on initiatives to achieve these goals, by supporting tourism entrepreneurs and traditional industry players as the tourism market embraces technology and innovation.
Commenting on the development Victor Chua, Founding and managing partner of Vynn Capital and chairman of the Malaysia Venture Capital said they will work to champion the growth of tourism in South-East Asia.
“The tourism sector represents a huge opportunity for South-East Asia, where we see the emergence of a strong middle class. Vynn Capital has identified tourism as a key investment space and we will continue to work with entrepreneurs and industry players to promote the region’s tourism sector.
“We believe technology companies that focus on the mobility of consumers, such as Indonesia’s Travelio and Carsome, who already has operations in four key countries in South-East Asia, will continue to champion the economic impact of tourism growth.
“We join hands with UNWTO to foster a new generation of innovative tourism companies in South-East Asia,” he said.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said joining hands with Vynn Capital will go a long way in digitalising tourism.
“UNWTO is proud to partner with Vynn Capital, who will help us to create real solutions for the much-needed digital transformation of tourism.
“Such partnerships are key to continue generating opportunities all through tourism, and prove that venture capital has a role to play when we want to advance sustainable development,” he said.