According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), there were more than 900 million international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2022, twice as many as in 2021, but 37 percent lower than before the pandemic, ATOR reports.
According to the UNWTO, every region of the world recorded an increase in foreign arrivals last year. The most positive dynamics was observed in the Middle East. One of the drivers there was the World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Thanks to it, the tourist flow to the Middle East region recovered to 83 percent of the pre-pandemic level.
Europe in 2022 reached 80 percent of its 2019 level (585 million arrivals). Africa and the Americas recovered about 65 percent of pre-pandemic tourist traffic, while Asia and Asia-Pacific recovered only 23 percent of 2019 levels because of later covid restrictions waivers.
Among the destinations that recorded progress in 2022 compared to 2019: the Virgin Islands, Albania, Honduras, St. Maarten, Andorra, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Curacao, Colombia, Ethiopia and Liechtenstein.
According to industry experts, in the short term, the resumption of travel from China will primarily benefit Asian destinations. However, much will depend on the availability and cost of air travel, visa regimes and measures related to COVID-19. The World Tourism Organization recalled that in mid-January 32 countries have imposed restrictive measures for visitors from China.
According to experts UNWTO, international tourism will continue to recover in 2023: the total number of trips will reach rates of 80 to 95 percent of the pre-pandemic level.
The process of returning to pre-pandemic levels of tourism will be unsynchronous in terms of dynamics in different regions of the world. The UNWTO predicts that in 2023, international arrivals may return to 2019 levels only in Europe and the Middle East. The tourism sector is affected by continued uncertainty caused by geopolitical conflicts, as well as the COVID-19 situation.
It is expected that the main trends in travel in 2023 will be the choice of destinations that offer the best value for money. In 2023, tourists will save more money on travel, reducing not only travel costs and duration, but also preferring destinations closer to home.