The Asia Pacific (APAC) region includes some of the world's key emerging markets as well as more stable travel economies. PhoCusWright's Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview Third Edition, released today, reveals an overall downturn in the APAC travel industry in 2009, with all the major segments - air, hotel and car - declining due to decreased passenger demand. The online travel market, however, will grow at double-digit rates as technology adoption soars in markets like China, Japan and Singapore.

According to PhoCusWright's Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview Third Edition, online travel agency expansion continues to impact markets like India and Australia/New Zealand. These factors and more will contribute to a 17% gain in the APAC online leisure/unmanaged business travel market, projected to reach US$35.7 billion in 2009. "Compared to other regions, the Asia Pacific travel market is relatively stable right now," explains Ram Badrinathan, general manager, Asia Pacific. "There is still a lot of opportunity in the online travel sector that is buoying the industry's performance."

Under pressure from a struggling global economy, the travel market in APAC is projected to decline 6% in 2009 to $202 billion. The region will see continued stabilization and slow recovery beginning in 2010 as the total travel market begins to gain momentum in 2011. However, online travel market growth rates will be in double digits for all key markets in 2010 and 2011. The APAC online travel market will grow at rates not seen in the U.S. since 2006, indicating ripe opportunities for travel companies looking to expand. "For years, the travel industry has pinpointed Asia, particularly India and China, as the next frontier for growth. The downturn in 2009 has not changed that outlook," adds Badrinathan.