Global travel service provider Trip.com Group’s CEO Jane Sun expressed optimism about the growth and investment potential of Asia’s travel and tourism market at the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos.

At a panel discussion, Sun confirmed that Trip.com Group has witnessed strong booking interest in Asia, with Thailand, Japan and South Korea among the top travel destinations.

The rise in consumer income has also led to the growth of trends in the region such as wellness experiences and event tourism, particularly around sought-after highlights such as concerts and music festivals.

Sun maintained that prospects for the Asian economy remain robust, citing projections that it will contribute to 50% of growth in global gross domestic product. The rapid development of the tourism industry in Asia, coupled with the strong purchasing power of Asian customers, indicates the potential for sustained growth in the region.

Trip.com Group spotlights China’s travel growth

Zooming in on the post-pandemic economic trajectory in one of Asia’s largest regions, Sun asserted that China offers “abundant investment opportunities”.

Sun highlighted China’s rapid increase in inbound and outbound travel, favourable policy developments, vast size, diverse industries and varying levels of consumer buying power.

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International hotel and resort companies such as Hilton and Accor are undertaking new and large-scale investments in the country.

China’s growth has been driven by its removal of visa requirements for specific national citizens since July 2023. So far, these have included unilateral visa-free policies for more than ten countries including Ireland, France, Spain and Italy.

According to Trip.com Group data, countries with visa-free arrangements or plans for relaxed visa policies, such as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, are among the top destinations favoured by Chinese tourists for the Chinese New Year event on 10 February 2024.