United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) expected that 2023 could see international tourism arrivals return to pre-pandemic levels in Europe and the Middle East (MENA).
According to UNWTO’s forward-looking scenarios for 2023, global international tourist arrivals could reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels this year, depending on the extent of the economic slowdown, the ongoing recovery of travel in Asia and the Pacific and the ongoing war between Russian and Ukraine, among other factors.
The new data from UNWTO showed that more than 900 million tourists traveled internationally in 2022 – double the number recorded in 2021 though still 63% of pre-pandemic levels. Every global region recorded notable increases in international tourist numbers.
The MENA enjoyed the strongest relative increase as arrivals climbed to 83% of pre-pandemic numbers. Europe reached nearly 80% of pre-pandemic levels as it welcomed 585 million arrivals in 2022, UNWTO noted.
The latest data also revealed that both Africa and the Americas recovered about 65% of their pre-pandemic visitors, while Asia and the Pacific reached only 23%, due to stronger pandemic-related restrictions which have started to be removed only in recent months.
In the same connection, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “A new year brings more reason for optimism for global tourism. UNWTO anticipates a strong year for the sector even in the face of diverse challenges including the economic situation and continued geopolitical uncertainty. Economic factors may influence how people travel in 2023 and UNWTO expects demand for domestic and regional travel to remain strong and help drive the sector’s wider recovery.”
The recent lifting of COVID-19 related travel restrictions in China, the world’s largest outbound market in 2019, is a significant step for the recovery of the tourism sector in Asia and the Pacific and worldwide.
Global region recorded notable increases in international tourist numbers, said a report recently issued by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
According to UNWTO's latest report, the Middle East enjoyed the strongest relative increase as arrivals climbed to 83% of pre-pandemic numbers.
Meanwhile, Europe reached nearly 80% of pre-pandemic levels as it welcomed 585 million arrivals in 2022.
The report also noted that Africa and the Americas both recovered about 65% of their pre-pandemic visitors, while Asia Pacific reached only 23%, due to stronger pandemic-related restrictions which have started to be removed only in recent months.
In this report, UNWTO also showed that notable increases in international tourism receipts have been recorded across most destinations, in several cases higher than their growth in arrivals. This has been supported by the increase in average spending per trip due to longer periods of stay, the willingness by travelers to spend more in their destination and higher travel costs due to inflation.