Report: Southeast Asia tourist arrivals to reach 155M by 2022

According to analytics company GlobalData, the number of international visitors to the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.72 percent from 129.2 million in 2018 to 155.4 million in 2022.

Its latest report, "Tourism Destination Market Insights: ASEAN," found each country in the region has "huge potential" for growth in the next three years as intra-ASEAN travel increases and travelers from farther afield seek more adventurous holidays.

The growth of low-cost carriers and an open-skies agreement has made intra-ASEAN travel more accessible, the report noted. As key players such as AirAsia increase their offerings, more of the ASEAN population is able to travel due to  proximity, simpler visa processes and similar cultures.

GlobalData indicated while the influx of travelers can be hugely beneficial to the countries in this region, over-tourism is a major concern that governments and travel companies must keep in mind. The indefinite closure of Maya Bay is a notable example of the issues faced in Thailand in particular.

“As the number of visitors increase, they need to be distributed more effectively across the region’s countries to avoid degradation to the most popular tourist areas,” said Laura Beaton, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData. “There are already positive moves toward this in some countries and less popular areas should be able to capitalize on this.”