The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has urged ASEAN governments to ensure they have the infrastructure in place to cater to future demand from the region and China.
David Scowsill, president and chief executive officer of the WTTC, said Southeast Asia was one of the best-performing tourism regions.
In 2015, the contribution of travel and tourism to the economies of Southeast Asia grew by an average of 7.9 per cent, ahead of South Asia (7.4 per cent) and Oceania (6.2 per cent). This growth was driven by the combined forces of the overall economic strengthening of the region and its proximity to the rapidly growing Chinese market.
However, this will not be without challenges. Governments will need to invest now to ensure they have the infrastructure to cater to future travellers. This includes airports and air connectivity, entry and exit systems that are efficient and secure, and an approach to visa facilitation that encourages travel to and within the region.
Destinations will also need to ensure that rapid tourism growth does not come at the cost of the natural and cultural resources, he said.