Governments in the Asia Pacific region are expected to pour billions of dollars into building airport infrastructure to handle a higher-than-expected influx of passengers.
Countries such as China, India, Philippines and Indonesia, are planning to invest over $100 billion in new airports over the next decade to accommodate burgeoning passenger traffic in the region, according to an Agence France-Presse, or AFP, report published in the South China Morning Post Wednesday.
"Through the next 10 years, we will see more than 350 new airports in the Asia-Pacific region and the investment cost will be well over US$100 billion," Chris De Lavigne, global vice-president for Asia-Pacific at business consultancy Frost & Sullivan, told AFP.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, or UNWTO, world tourism barometer data released on July 21, tourism in the Asia Pacific region grew at a yearly pace of over 6 percent in the first four months of 2014 -- higher than the global average of 5 percent. Within the Asia Pacific region, the growth was much higher in South Asian countries, which witnessed a yearly growth of over 8 percent.
In order to cope with the increased influx of tourists, governments in the region are reportedly planning to build new airports and expand existing ones.
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“China is building over 100 airports, India is building over 60 airports and Indonesia will also have to follow suit with investments in its infrastructure," De Lavigne told AFP, adding that an additional $25 billion would be needed to upgrade the existing airports.
While China has reportedly earmarked $11 billion for a new airport in Beijing, India recently announced plans to build 200 low-cost airports over the next 20 years. Indonesia is also planning to upgrade the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in the capital city of Jakarta, which is currently running at three times its normal capacity.
Even Changi Airport in Singapore, which currently handles over 54 million passengers annually, recently announced a series of measures to increase passenger traffic further, including investing $1 billion in building a new terminal.
Shukor Yusof, an analyst with Malaysia-based Endau Analytics, told AFP that most airports in the region were “bursting at the seams” and that urgent action was needed to boost travel growth.
"Many governments have paid scant attention to developing new terminals and new tarmacs,” he told AFP.