The Middle East, Europe and Africa lead the recovery of the global sector
International tourism has continued to recover from the worst crisis in its history, as the number of arrivals reached 84% of pre-pandemic levels between January and July 2023, according to the latest UNWTO data.
Tourism is on track for a full recovery
Tourism demand continues to show remarkable resilience and sustained recovery, even in the face of economic and geopolitical challenges. The new edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer tracks the recovery of the sector throughout 2023 until the end of July. The UNWTO Barometer shows:
At the end of July, international tourist arrivals reached 84% of pre-pandemic levels.
700 million tourists traveled internationally between January and July 2023, 43% more than in the same months of 2022.
July was the busiest month, with 145 million international travelers registered, about 20% of the seven-month total.
UNWTO data shows once again how tourism is recovering strongly in all parts of the world. But as our sector recovers, it also needs to adapt.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab said: "UNWTO data shows once again how tourism is recovering strongly in all parts of the world. But as our sector recovers, it also needs to adapt. extreme weather events that we have witnessed in recent months as well as the critical challenges of managing growing tourist flows underline the need to build a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient sector and ensure that recovery goes hand in hand with a rethinking of our sector ".
Results by region
All regions of the world enjoyed strong tourism recovery rates during the first seven months of 2023, driven by international travel demand from several large source markets:
The Middle East recorded the best results in January-July 2023, with arrivals 20% above pre-pandemic levels. The region remains the only one that so far exceeds 2019 levels.
Europe, the world's largest destination region, reached 91% of pre-pandemic levels, supported by strong intra-regional demand and travel from the United States.
Africa recovered 92% of pre-crisis visitors in this seven-month period and America 87%, according to available data.
In Asia and the Pacific, the recovery accelerated to reach 61% of pre-pandemic arrival levels following the opening of many destinations and source markets in late 2022 and early this year.
The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer contains results by region, subregion and country, including the best performing destinations in terms of international arrivals and receipts during the first seven months of the year.
These results show that international tourism remains on track to reach between 80% and 95% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023. The outlook for September-December 2023 points to a continued recovery, according to the latest UNWTO Confidence Index, although at a more moderate pace following the June-August peak travel season. These results will be driven by still pent-up demand and increased air connectivity, especially in Asia and the Pacific, where the recovery is still moderate.
The reopening of China and other Asian markets and destinations is expected to continue boosting travel both within the region and to other parts of the world.
The challenging economic environment remains a critical factor for the effective recovery of international tourism in 2023, according to the UNWTO Panel of Experts.
Persistent inflation and rising oil prices have resulted in higher transportation and accommodation costs. This could affect spending patterns for the rest of the year, as tourists increasingly look for value for money, traveling closer to home and taking shorter trips.