Abacus: Asia to become dominant region in travel industryNewsBy Dennis Schaal | February 9, 2011Share This article was originally published on Abacus International, the Asia GDS owned by Sabre and a consortium of airlines, believes Asia is poised to become dominant in the global travel industry."After a strong showing in 2010, Asia is on target to take its spot as the largest region in terms of air transport, travel destination, business travel, utilization of ancillary revenue models and mobile usage," Abacus says.Abacus says its bookings in 2010 set a record, rising 11% compared with 2009, and in the process exceeded the pre-recession heyday of 2007.And the World Tourism Organization says international arrivals into Asia grew nearly 13% in 2010, Abacus says. International arrivals are expected to grow in 2011, albeit at a slower pace, 4% to 6%, Abacus says."Growth is the name of the game in travel at the moment and although 2011 may not hit milestone figures like we saw in 2010, it will certainly be a year of growth with the emergence of Asia as the leading travel region," says Robert Bailey, Abacus president and CEO. "Led by a slowing China and a growing India, in what has been dubbed as slowing dragon and crouching tiger, Asia is well-equipped and set to take the leap forward in establishing its dominance in the travel industry."Airlines in Asia Pacific account for more than 30% of passenger traffic globally and some 40% of freight traffic, Abacus says."Asia Pacific is poised to overtake the U.S. and Europe as the world's largest air transport market..." Abacus says.Despite cultural differences with the U.S. and Europe, Asian carriers are focusing on ancillary services, with 24% of them ready to implement car, hotel and insurance products by the end of 2012, Abacus says."The Asian traveler is quite different from the Western traveler and this further differs per market," Abacus says. "They are more discerning in that expectations are higher. Although Asian airlines may choose to charge for the ancillary services, passengers would expect the base fare to be lower. With differing needs and requirements, the airlines are taking an independent and cautious approach so to not alientate their loyal customers," Abacus says.And, with Asia's status as the world's largest mobile phone market, carriers in the region are establishing mobile websites and developing apps in a trend that is expected to ramp up exponentially."With its vast population and mobile usage, Asians will pave the way in determining the future face of travel through mobile, especially with the dominance of smartphones in the region, serving as a one-stop repository and access to all the touchpoints travelers need when on the go," says Abacus.