IN a testament to the strong rebound of the travel industry in 2010, Abacus International saw booking transactions hit a record high last year, growing by 11 per cent compared to 2009, when it saw a one per cent slide in bookings.
Transaction increases were led by North Asia (14 per cent), followed by South-west Asia (10 per cent) and South-east Asia (eight per cent).
“I foresee that 2011 will continue to be a high growth year for Asia, albeit at a slightly slower pace,” said president and CEO, Robert Bailey, adding that Abacus expects to see a four to six per cent jump in bookings this year.
Besides obvious leaders of growth, China and India, Bailey singled out Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia as markets to watch.
Indonesian agents, he said, were benefiting from a stable economy and political scene as well as a recent removal of exit tax, while Vietnam and Cambodia’s emerging economies were driving travel demand.
Abacus also reported an eye-popping 126 per cent increase in hotel bookings in 2010, while noting that hotel average daily rates were up by four per cent, with properties in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China at the top of the table.
The GDS predicted that the major drivers of travel distribution for 2011 would be online travel agents, airline ancillaries, mobile travel bookings, social media and personalised trip planning.
– Read more in TTG Asia, February 25