Global tourism recovers 46% of pre-Covid levels in first 5 months

Photo source: UNWTO

World tourism managed in the first five months of the year to recover nearly 50 percent pre-pandemic levels of 2019 with Europe in the lead despite the energy crisis, inflationary pressures and the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, found the last UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

Specifically, according to the UNWTO, international tourism recorded a strong rebound in the first five months of 2022, with almost 250 million international arrivals recorded, or 46% of pre-Covid levels, compared to 77 million in the same period a year ago.

“Tourism recovery has gained momentum in many parts of the world, overcoming the challenges that stand in its way,” said the UNWTO Secretary-General. Zurab Pololikashviliwho however added that “economic headwinds and geopolitical challenges could impact the sector in the remainder of 2022 and beyond.”

Europe was one of the winners this year with a 350 percent increase the number of international arrivals in the first five months of 2022 compared to 2021, boosted by strong intra-regional demand and the removal of all travel restrictions.

Travel resumed in Europe in April, when the number of arrivals increased by 458 percent. Overall arrivals are down 36% from pre-Covid 2019.

The Americas also fared well, according to the UNWTO Barometer, with twice as many arrivals in the five-month period of 2022, up 112%. Arrivals, however, were still 40% below 2019 levels.

The report goes on to note that tourism spending is on the rise in key source markets. International spending by French, German, Italian and American tourists is now between 70% and 85% of 2019 levels, while spending by India, Saudi Arabia and Qatar has already exceeded 2019 levels .

Photo source: UNWTO

UNWTO figures indicate that many destinations, including rival Turkey, have fully recovered pre-Covid travel receipts, as have the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Seychelles, Romania, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Pakistan, Sudan, Bangladesh, El Salvador. , Mexico, Croatia and Portugal.

Looking ahead, UNWTO forecasts international arrivals to reach 55-70% of pre-Covid levels in 2022 depending on developments in travel restrictions, inflation, energy prices, general economic conditions, developments in the Russian-Ukrainian war as well as Covid developments. He also goes on to refer to staff shortages, severe airport congestion and flight delays and cancellations which could also impact international tourism figures.

Europe and the Americas are expected to register the best tourism results in 2022. According to the UNWTO, international tourist arrivals in Europe could reach 65-80% of 2019 levels in 2022.

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