Over the past decades, Asia and the Pacific has consolidated its position not only as one of the major tourism destination regions, but also as an increasingly important outbound market, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Asia accounts for 14 of the world´s top 50 source markets in terms of international expenditure, according to UNWTO.

The report, Key Outbound Tourism Markets in South-East Asia, launched at the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), a tourism trade event in Sydney on April 26, promises an up-to-date perspective on major tourism trends and developments in five key South-East Asian outbound markets: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

In 2012, these five countries accounted for $ 49 billion in international tourism expenditure, almost doubling up from $ 25 billion in 2006. The increasing size of the prospering middle class in South-East Asia is said to be a crucial factor behind the growth in travel out of Asian markets.

According to UNWTO, the number of international tourist arrivals generated by source markets in Asia and the Pacific is expected to more than double from 205 million in 2010 to 541 million in 2030.

In addition to economic and demographic factors, the region’s expansion has also been boosted by developments at the technological and supply-side levels. This includes a boom in air travel, driven largely by the emergence and expansion of low-cost carriers, and the growing access to the internet.