Hong Kong has slipped down into the 4th place in the ranking of favored Asia-Pacific destinations and has been replaced by China. However, the most notable statistics are those of Australia and Japan.
The reason for the popularity of Australia and Japan in the Asia-Pacific zone is quite clear. The two countries provide the sense of adventure, which European destinations do not have anymore, yet very much offer the comforts that Europeans and North Americans are used to at home. In a straight choice between Laos and Japan, the adventurous westerner is more than likely to go for the latter.
In a survey by market research group Nielsen whereby 6,714 travellers from 13 key markets were asked about their attitudes towards travelling to the Asia-Pacific region, 40% claimed that they would consider going to either Australia or Japan in the next 2 years. Australia was by far the most popular destination for travellers from the UK, perhaps due to people visiting family members and the fact that English is spoken in Australia as the first language.
Hong Kong used to be in third place, yet has been ousted by China, which has emerged as a mega power in tourism in the last few years. Not only are many tourists from China visiting the rest of the world, mostly thanks to the loosened visa rules, but tourists from around the globe are flocking to China as well. Suddenly, as the borders have opened, China is reaping the rewards for having a more lenient approach towards foreign tourism. In return, its citizens are able to see the world away from just the Internet and China has become the major force in world tourism.