South East Asia remains one of the biggest long-haul travel destinations for Germans, who are steadily discovering more of the region’s diverse destinations, according to the newly-published fvw Destination Ranking 2019.
Seven out of the eight top regional destinations attracted more German tourists last year while all of them drew more international travellers. Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia are the top three South East Asian destinations in terms of growth over the last five years, this year’s ranking of major destinations worldwide showed.
Vietnam has more than doubled the number of German visitors since 2013, reaching 214,000 last year. Similarly, international visitor numbers topped 15 million as more Asians and other tourists headed for the country’s beaches, islands and cultural sights.
Indonesia has established itself as a popular long-haul destination for German holidaymakers with a 58% increase since 2013 to 274,000 visitors last year. International growth is even stronger, with an 80% rise to 15.8 million visitors to the island state from around the world in 2018.
The third winner in the growth stakes, Cambodia, has increased German visitor numbers by 47% over the last five years, reaching 120,000 in 2018. Overall, the country welcomed an estimated 6.2 million tourists in 2018, up 11%.
Thailand, the biggest destination in South East Asia, remains on the growth path and is continuing to diversify its products to persuade visitors to go beyond its beaches and explore lesser-known regions. German visitor numbers hit 890,000 last year, which is 20% more than five years ago, while the ‘kingdom of smiles’ welcomed 38 million international tourists overall.
Neighbour Malaysia is aiming to match such a record after underperforming in recent years and hopes its status as ITB partner country this year and a Visit Malaysia Year in 2020 will speed up tourism growth. German visitor numbers rose by 14% to 125,000 last year but remain behind levels seen earlier in the decade. Similarly, international arrival numbers have fluctuated in recent years.
Singapore has grown steadily on the German market, with a 38% rise over the last five years to 347,000 arrivals in 2018. The island state remains a top international destination with more than 18 million visitors last year.
The Philippines is also winning more German visitors with an 8% rise to 92,000 last year, which is 30% more than five years ago. International growth is even stronger at over 50% since 2013.
The big regional loser on the German market last year was Myanmar whose image was hit by criticism of the treatment of its Rohingya minority. The country had become the region’s most prominent ‘new’ destination after opening up politically and generated a tourism boom. But many Germans boycotted the destination last year, prompting a 28% drop to 29,000 arrivals. Overall, 3.4 million international tourists visited Myanmar but this is well behind the record set in 2015.