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International tourism recovers 46% of pre-pandemic levels

International tourism recovers 46% of pre-pandemic levels

International tourism recovers 46% of pre-pandemic levels

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer,

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international tourism has seen a strong recovery in the first five months of 2022, with nearly 250 million international arrivals recorded.

This compares to 77 million arrivals from January to May 2021 and means the sector has recovered almost half (46%) of pre-pandemic 2019 levels. who stand in their way,”

said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. At the same time, he also advises caution in the face of “economic headwinds and geopolitical challenges that could affect the sector for the remainder of 2022 and beyond.”

Europe received more than four times more international arrivals than in the first five months of 2021 (+350%), driven by strong intra-regional demand and the removal of all travel restrictions in an increasing number of countries.

The region performed particularly robustly in April (+458%), reflecting a busy Easter period. In the Americas, arrivals more than doubled (+112%). However, the strong recovery is measured against weak results in 2021 and arrivals remain 36% and 40% below 2019 levels in both regions, respectively.

International tourism recovers 46% of pre-pandemic levels

The same pattern is seen in other regions. Strong growth in the Middle East (+157%) and Africa (+156%) remained 54% and 50% below 2019 levels, respectively, and Asia and the Pacific nearly doubled arrivals (+94%), although the numbers were 90% below 2019 as some borders remained closed to non-essential travel. On the face of it, the recent loosening of restrictions can be seen in improved results for April and May.

Looking at subregions, several have recovered between 70% and 80% of their pre-pandemic levels, led by the Caribbean and Central America, followed by southern Mediterranean, western and northern Europe. It’s worth noting that some destinations have surpassed 2019 levels, including U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, Republic of Moldova, Albania, Honduras and Puerto Rico.

The increase in tourism spending outside the main markets of origin is consistent with the observed recovery. International tourist spending from France, Germany, Italy and the United States is now at 70% to 85% of pre-pandemic levels, while spending by India, Saudi Arabia and Qatar has already surpassed 2019 levels

International tourism recovers 46% of pre-pandemic levels

. International tourism obtained in destinations, an increasing number of countries – Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Seychelles, Romania, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Mexico, Croatia and Portugal – have fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

Strong demand during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer season is expected to consolidate these positive results, particularly as more destinations ease or eliminate travel restrictions. As of July 22, 62 destinations (of which 39 in Europe) had no restrictions related to covid-19 and an increasing number of destinations in Asia have started to ease.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the overall reduction in international air capacity in 2022 will be limited to 20% to 25% of the seats offered by airlines compared to 2019. This resilience is also reflected in load factors. hotelier. Based on data from industry benchmarking firm STR, global load factors rose to 66% in June 2022 from 43% in January.

However, stronger-than-expected demand has created significant operational and workforce challenges, while the war in Ukraine, rising inflation and interest rates, as well as fears of an economic slowdown continue to pose a risk. for recovery. The International Monetary Fund points to a global economic slowdown from 6.1% in 2021 to 3.2% in 2022 and then to 2.9% in 2023. At the same time, the UNWTO continues to work closely with the World Organization for Health (WHO) to monitor the pandemic as well as emerging public health emergencies and their potential impact on travel.

International tourism recovers 46% of pre-pandemic levels

UNWTO forward-looking scenarios published in May 2022 point to international arrivals reaching 55% to 70% of pre-pandemic levels by 2022. Results depend on evolving circumstances, particularly changes in travel restrictions, ongoing inflation, including high prices energy and general economic conditions, the evolution of the war in Ukraine, as well as the health situation related to the pandemic. More recent challenges such as understaffing, severe airport congestion and flight delays and cancellations could also affect international tourism numbers.

Scenarios by region show that Europe and the Americas record the best Tourism results in 2022, while Asia and the Pacific are expected to lag behind due to more restrictive travel policies. International tourist arrivals in Europe could rise to 65% or 80% of 2019 levels by 2022, depending on various conditions, while in the Americas they could reach 63% to 76% of those levels.

In Africa and the Middle East, arrivals could reach around 50% to 70% of pre-pandemic levels, while in Asia and the Pacific they would remain at 30% of 2019 levels in the best-case scenario, due to stricter policies and restrictions.

International tourism recovers 46% of pre-pandemic levels

International tourism recovers 46% of pre-pandemic levels

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