ABACUS International has forecast solid growth in Asia-Pacific travel bookings for the rest of 2005.
The Singapore-based GDS reports that bookings for the first four months of this year are already up 21% over the same period in 2004, which was the best for a decade.
Vietnam was the standout performer during April with a 25% increase in bookings over March.
The established North Asian markets of South Korea (22%) and Hong Kong (16%) also grew strongly, while FIT bookings in Indochina and Central Asia increased 14%.
Four out of five bookings (78%) made in Asia-Pacific during April were for travel within the region.
Abacus President and CEO, Don Birch, says: “We are seeing signs of solid growth which, barring unforeseen circumstances, we expect to continue for the rest of the year.”
He says total bookings on the Abacus system during April increased by 7% month on month to 2.9 million, up 10% over the previous year.
A black spot has been the slow recovery of passenger traffic to the tsunami hit markets such as Krabi and Phuket where “we are seeing a 60% to 70% drop in bookings” over last year.
Abacus now distributes through 11,000 travel agency locations in 22 markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region.