Tourism is on track to return to pre-pandemic levels in some regions in 2023

After a stronger-than-expected recovery in 2022, this year could see international arrivals return to pre-pandemic levels in Europe and the Middle East. However, tourists are expected to become more value conscious and travel closer to home in response to the challenging economic environment.

According to UNWTO’s perspective scenarios for 2023, international tourist arrivals 80% to 95% of their pre-pandemic levels this year, depending on the extent of the economic downturn, the ongoing recovery in Asia-Pacific travel, and the evolution of the Russian Federation’s attack on Ukraine, among other factors.

A breakthrough in all regions

UNWTO expects strong sector performance despite various challenges such as the economic situation and persistent geopolitical uncertainties

New data from the UNWTO shows that the number of international tourists exceeded 900 million in 2022: more than double the figures recorded in 2021, while remaining at 63% of pre-pandemic levels. A significant increase in the number of international tourists has been observed in all regions of the world. the In relative terms, the Middle East benefited from the largest increase, the number of arrivals increased to 83% of the pre-pandemic figures. L’Europe has reached around 80% of pre-pandemic levels With 585 million arrivals in 2022. Africa and the Americas have recovered around 65% of their pre-pandemic participation figures, while the Asia-Pacific region is back to just 23% due to the strictest pandemic restrictions that have just come into force. raised in recent months. It also offers the first edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer 2023 performance analysis by region and one Best results table 2022especially noting that some destinations are already back to 2019 levels.

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The new year begins with more reasons to be optimistic for global tourism. UNWTO expects a robust performance of the sector despite various challenges such as the economic situation and persistent geopolitical uncertainties. Economic factors may affect how people travel in 2023; UNWTO expects demand for domestic and regional travel to remain strong and support the recovery of the sector more broadly. »

Chinese tourists are expected to return

UNWTO expects the recovery to continue until 2023, given the conditions facing the sector economic, health and geopolitical challenges. The China recently lifted travel restrictions due to COVID-19In 2019, the world’s largest foreign market is critical to the recovery of the tourism sector in the Asia-Pacific region and globally. In the short term, the resumption of travel from China should particularly benefit Asian destinations. However, this will depend on flight availability and price, visa regimes and COVID-19 restrictions at destinations. By mid-January, a total of 32 countries had imposed restrictions targeting travel from China, mainly to Asia and Europe.

At the same time, we observe a Strong demand from the United States , supported by a strong dollar (USD) and will continue to benefit destinations in the region and beyond. Europe will continue to receive significant tourist inflows from the United States, partly due to the depreciation of the euro against the dollar (USD).

Most destinations have seen significant growth in international tourism arrivals, sometimes outpacing the growth in arrivals. This is mainly due to an increase in the level of average spending per trip due to longer stays, travelers’ willingness to spend more at the destination and an increase in travel costs due to inflation. However, Economical situation is likely makes tourists more cautious By 2023 by cutting costs and making trips shorter and closer to home.

In addition, continued uncertainty resulting from the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine and the escalation of other geopolitical tensions, as well as health issues caused by COVID-19, are also downside risks that could affect the recovery of tourism in future periods. month

L’UNWTO Trust Index the newest watch cautious optimism for the January-April periodIt is higher than the same period in 2022. This optimism is due to the openness observed in Asia and high levels of spending in 2022 from traditional and emerging foreign tourism markets, France, Germany and Italy, as well as Qatar, India and Saudi Arabia. , all posting strong results.

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