MACAU – The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) released Wednesday the preliminary Asia Pacific international visitor arrivals figures for the month of June, showing year-on-year growth in arrivals of 17 percent. For the first half of the year, international visitor arrivals to the region grew by a robust 11 percent, year on year. Northeast Asia enjoyed buoyant visitor arrivals growth of 19 percent in June, the highest among other sub-regions in terms of growth for the month. Arrivals to the sub-region were boosted by strong increases in numbers to Chinese Taipei (+46 percent), Hong Kong SAR (+44 percent), Japan (+60 percent), Korea (ROK) (+35 percent) and Macau SAR (+31 percent). Overall, international visitor arrivals to Northeast Asia grew by 11 percent during the first half of 2010. Arrivals to South Asia grew by 13 percent in June, supported by significant year-on-year growth recorded by Sri Lanka (+48 percent), the Maldives (+22 percent) and Nepal (+16 percent). India posted a comparatively much more moderate growth of eight percent, while Bhutan saw a minor decline of one percent for the month. For the first-half year, arrivals to the sub-region increased 15 percent, making South Asia the fastest growing sub-region within Asia and the Pacific. Southeast Asia led the region’s recovery in the second half of 2009 and the positive momentum remained strong in the first six months of 2010. Arrivals to the sub-region rose 11 percent, year on year in June and 13 percent for the first half of the year. Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam experienced a strong revival in visitor arrivals for the period. Thailand’s first-half year growth of 14 percent came mainly from the first three months of the year. Growth in the second quarter of the year for the popular destination was –4 percent due to the recent political turmoil. After registering declines in April and May, arrivals to the Pacific picked up in June to post a 12-percent increase. Arrivals to Australia and New Zealand were the main contribution to the sub-region’s rebound, with arrival growth of 11 percent and eight percent respectively for the month. The majority of the smaller Pacific island destinations also showed increases in arrivals in June, though growth remained uneven. For the first-half of the year, visitor arrivals to the Pacific grew by a modest four percent.