Coronavirus much changed in the world. China and Japan are very slow to lift entry restrictions, air travel in the Asia-Pacific region remains low compared to pre-pandemic levels in the region.
Therefore, it is not surprising that fresh research from international analysts predicts: Asia-Pacific the region will cease to be the largest tourist region in the world by the end of 2022, losing this title to Europe.
While previously Southeast Asia accounted for more than a third of all global passenger traffic, today it is a decrease of 45 percent compared to the level existed before the pandemic. But in Europe, air travel has already recovered to 85 percent of 2019 levels. Even despite the existing political problems.
In 2019, 3.38 billion passengers transited through Asian airports. The current forecasts of ACI Asia-Pacific — organizations representing airports in the region, — it is estimated that by the end of 2022, passenger traffic will be only 1.84 billion.
The main reason for such a slow recovery — China policy “zero COVID-19” and the overcautiousness of Japan, which promises to officially open to tourists on October 11.
Most travel to Asia-Pacific destinations is 50 percent or more below 2019 levels. The only exception is, perhaps, India, which fell by only 11 percent.
Experts are almost unanimous: the Asia-Pacific region will not be able to return to its best performance until the end of 2023, or even the beginning of 2024.