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Record bookings achieved, Asia set for growth track

Posted on 10 Feb 2011 at 10:16 am by Yeoh Siew Hoon

Booking transactions up 11% in 2010 and higher than pre-recession levels back in 2007. And while this year may see a slowing down of growth, Abacus International mainly had good news to share at yesterday’s media lunch – most of it around how Asia is tipped to be a global leader in travel by 2015 in certain travel categories, not least of which is mobile usage.

Robert Bailey (left), president and CEO, said, “In 2010, Abacus achieved its strongest year in terms of bookings since 2007. We expect the figure to increase with Asia’s sharp growth in travel, although 2011 may be a year of cautious optimism for many.”

Three areas are expected to fuel further growth – online, ancillary services, mobile bookings and the resurgence of corporate travel.

According to the latest Abacus booking data, independent traveller bookings in Asia remained strong in 2010, up 11% from 2009. North Asia increased by 14%, South East Asia by 8% and South West Asia by 10% year-on-year. Hotel Average Daily Rates (ADR) were also up 4% from the previous year , led by Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Most markets experienced an overall hotel booking increase by 126% in 2010 over 2009.

Bailey said that Asia was growing to become the top travel region in the world, as soon as 2015 in travel categories such as air transport, travel destination, business travel, utilisation of ancillary revenue models and mobile usage.

With 62% of the world’s population (4 billion) and 27% of the world’s GDP, Asia in 2010 accounted for 2.3 billion passengers, 43 million tonnes of cargo, $545 billion in revenue and $7.7 billion in profit, the largest worldwide. Asia also accounts for 43% of online usage, 3.1 billion mobile subscribers, 56% of the world’s 3G subscribers and more than 450 million mobile Internet users.

Brett Henry, VP Marketing, VP India, Abacus International, said the company would workwith all the various channels “to best support this continued push, as 2011 looks to continue the upward trend, especially in light of growing economies throughout Asia.”

“The next generation travel agent needs to be well equipped to take on the increased workload and the rapidly changing travel landscape. Key areas such as corporate travel, ancillary revenue and mobile growth are our priorities in dealing with today’s travel growth industry.”

Said Bailey, “Growth is the name of the game in travel at the moment, and although 2011 may not hit milestone figures like we saw in 2010, it will certainly be a year of growth with the emergence of Asia as the leading travel region.

“Led by a slowing China and a growing India, in what has been aptly dubbed as slowing dragon and crouching tiger, Asia is well equipped and set to take the leap forward in establishing its dominance of the travel industry.”

Tags: Abacus , Robert Bailey , Brett Henry , online , ancillary services , mobile usage