KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — Asia Pacific (Apac) passenger traffic has rebounded, particularly for shorter, intra-regional trips over the past 12 months ending March 2024, according to the Mastercard Economics Institute (MEI).

Mastercard’s Asia Pacific chief economist David Mann said Japan emerged as the top trending destination worldwide, growing 0.9 per cent as it welcomed 3.08 million visitors from abroad in March 2024 — the highest level ever.

“Within the top 10, there are another four markets in this region that have been doing very well, including Malaysia, Australia, South Korea and Indonesia,” he said in a virtual MEI media briefing South-east Asia Travel Rebounds — Apac Travel Trends 2024.

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He expects travellers from Singapore to go to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Perth this summer from June to August 2024.

He said additional upside growth is expected in 2024, supported by visa exemptions in Apac and beyond, as well as an increase in international flight capacity, benefiting destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

In terms of the number of days spent in a country, he said travellers to Malaysia used to be 5.6 days on average but this has gone up 6.4 days.

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Longer stays generally translate to more spending per trip too, which benefits local economies, he said. — Bernama