SINGAPORE: Asia-Pacific's outbound travel market is expected to grow by 6% annually from 2016 to 2021, but the region's emerging markets will grow twice as fast as developed ones, a new report has forecast.

According to MasterCard, the financial transactions firm, outbound trips from emerging Asian nations will see growth of 7.6% over the next five years compared to 3.3% in developed APAC markets.

Outbound travellers from emerging APAC markets already outnumber those from developed Asian countries by one-and-a-half times, the report added.

With 103.4m trips, China is expected to become the largest outbound travel market in 2021 when it will account for 40% of all outbound travel in the region.

South Korea is expected to be the next largest market with 25.6m trips, followed by India (21.5m), Japan (19.4m), Taiwan (16.3m).

Other nations in MasterCard's top ten include Malaysia (14.2m), Australia (11.8m), Singapore, (11.7m), Indonesia (10.6m) and Thailand (9.1m).

Meanwhile, the report forecast that Maynmar will be the fastest growing travel market with a 10.6% annual growth rate over the next five years, followed by Vietnam (9.5%), Indonesia (8.6%), China (8.5%) and India (8.2%).

Among developed Asia-Pacific markets, South Korea is growing the fastest (3.8%), followed by Singapore (3.5%), Australia (3.5%) and New Zealand (3.4%).

Eric Schneider, SVP Asia Pacific at MasterCard Advisors, said: "The burgeoning middle class is driving the growth of outbound travel in Asia Pacific, along with other trends such as the emergence of the Asian millennial traveller and on the other end of the spectrum the senior traveller, as well as new technology and infrastructure developments.

"Asia Pacific travellers will continue to fuel global tourism growth in years to come, providing vast opportunities for businesses to benefit through the development of products and solutions that seek to improve their overall travel experiences."

Data sourced from MasterCard; additional content by Warc staff