MADRID: The UN’s tourism agency reported on Tuesday that international tourist arrivals more than doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year and should return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 as a result of the relaxation of travel restrictions, particularly in China.
The Madrid-based World Tourism Organization reported in research that there were 917 million international tourist arrivals last year, up from 455 million in 2021, calling it “stronger than predicted outcomes.” According to the UN, by 2023, the number of international arrivals could have increased by 80 to 95 percent, despite remaining only 63 percent of the level seen in 2019, when the COVID-19 epidemic struck.
Looking ahead, the research stated that “when destinations and markets open up, international tourism is projected to solidify its recovery in 2023, supported by pent-up demand, particularly from Asia and the Pacific.”
The number of visitors to Europe, the most popular travel destination in the globe, reached 585 million last year, or almost 80% of pre-pandemic levels. However, due to more stringent pandemic-related limitations, the Pacific area only reached 23 percent of pre-pandemic visitor levels while Africa and the Americas only reached roughly 65 percent.