UNWTO: should we be cautiously optimistic for 2023?

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The number of international tourists could reach 80-95% of pre-pandemic levels this year. This is the forecast of the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization). Development depends on the general economic level, the resumption of travel in Asia and the Pacific region and the continuation of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. UNWTO is particularly optimistic about European regions and the Middle East. China only allowed a few countries for tourism in 2023.

2022: twice as many as 2021

According to UNWTO, more than 900 million people traveled to foreign destinations globally in 2022 – twice as many as in 2021, but still only around 63% of the pre-covid level

The Middle East at the forefront

The Middle East has seen the strongest recovery as a travel destination, accounting for 83% of pre-coronavirus arrivals. Europe has reached almost 80% of the pre-crisis level, Africa and America around 65% each. The smallest change is due to the still severe restrictions in Asia and the Pacific, where less than a quarter of arrivals in 2019 were counted.

Chinese tourists return

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, China was the world’s largest source of outbound tourists, who made 170 million trips and contributed $253 billion to the global economy in 2019. This year, Chinese travelers are expected to make 110

million international trips, two-thirds of the 2019 level, according to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (Cotri), which provides advice and training on the Chinese outbound market.

A few countries allowed first

An initial list of 20 countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, Fiji, Cuba and Argentina. In fact the countries that require a Covid control are currently not authorized.

Catherine Mills Avatar