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Saturday 16 December 2023

Tourism bounces back around the globe

International tourism has roared back post-Covid with the industry on track to recover to almost 90% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.

The latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) issued this week shows an estimated 975 million tourists travelled internationally between January and September, 2023, an increase of 38% on the same months in 2022.

The newest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer also shows that destinations welcomed 22% more international tourists in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year, reflecting a strong northern hemisphere summer season.

It was also revealed that international tourist arrivals hit 91% of pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter, reaching 92% in July, the best month so far since the start of pandemic.

Overall, tourism recovered to 87% of pre-pandemic levels in January-September 2023. That puts the sector on course to recover to almost 90% by the end of the year.

UNWTO secretary general Zurab Pololikashvili said: "The latest UNWTO data shows that international tourism has almost completely recovered from the unprecedented crisis of Covid-19 with many destinations reaching or even exceeding pre-pandemic arrivals and receipts.

"This is critical for destinations, businesses, and communities where the sector is a major lifeline."

Europe, the world's largest destination region, welcomed 550 million international tourists over the period, 56% of the global total. That represents 94% of pre-pandemic levels. The rebound was supported by robust intra-regional demand as well as strong demand from the United States.

Asia and the Pacific reached just 62% of pre-pandemic levels this period due to slower reopening to international travel, the UNWTO said.

Image: Carmen Ramon Cami, 

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