Tourism Recovering Toward Pre-Pandemic Levels Across the World
**Number of Foreign Tourists Doubled in 2022 and Continue to Rebound in 2023**
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced on Tuesday (01.17.2023) that the number of foreign tourists doubled in 2022, as sanitary restrictions have started to ease off and approach the levels prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the statement released by the UN agency, “more than 900 million tourists made international trips in 2022, twice as many as in 2021”, yet this still accounts for 63% of 2019, the year before the pandemic. It was found that in spite of the bigger recoveries in the Middle East (with arrivals rising to 83% of pre-pandemic numbers), Europe (at almost 80%), Africa and the Americas (at around 65%), the rebound was smaller in the Asia-Pacific region, which reached only 23% of the pre-pandemic level.
Spain was an example of imminent recovery as the second top world destination before Covid. It was reported that the Spanish tourist GDP already attained 159,000 million euros (172,000 dollars) in 2022, 1.4% more than in 2019, due to the increase of local tourists from April onwards.
The UNWTO Secretary General, Zurab Pololikashvili, affirmed that 2023 will bring “new reasons for optimism” and predicts that international tourist arrivals will be “between 80% and 95% of pre-pandemic levels this year”. This is mainly due to the revival of tourism will be boosted by the lifting of travel restrictions by China after three years of blockade, as well as other factors.
Before the pandemic, China was the world’s largest source market for tourists and in 2019 alone, 154 million Chinese ventured outside. With the start of the new year, it is expected that the tourism industry will finally be able to take off and passengers will have more places to explore.