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UNWTO: International tourism to recover to near 90% of pre-COVID level by year end
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18 December 2023

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January-September 2023 trip numbers up 38% YOY

UNWTO: International tourism to recover to near 90% of pre-COVID level by year end

Latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer shows:

  • 22% more international visitors to world destinations in 3Q2023 vs. 3Q2022
  • International arrivals 91% of pre-COVID in 3Q2023, 92% in July
  • Tourism overall reached 87% of pre-COVID in January-September 2023
  • International tourist spend could reach $1.4 trillion in 2023 - 93% of 2019 figure

Region performance January-September 2023:

  • Middle East: Arrivals 20% above 2019 - the only region with growth vs. 2019 - resulting from visa facilitation, development of new destinations, infrastructure investments and large events.
  • Europe: Arrivals at 94% of pre-COVID supported by strong intra-regional and US demand
  • Africa: 92% of pre-COVID
  • Americas: 88% of 2019 numbers driven by strong US demand particularly for Caribbean destinations
  • Asia-Pacific: 62% of pre-COVID because of slower reopening, but with sub-region differences: South Asia at 95% of 2019 vs. North-East Asia (China-Korea-Japan) at only about 50%.

International tourism spend was strong, particularly from Germany (+13%) and US (+11%) vs. 2019.

Based on data from IATA and STR, air passenger numbers and tourist accommodation occupancy recovered strongly.

Comment: The UNWTO report kind of slides over China's contribution to obstacles to recovery of world tourism by being slow to issue passports and visas.


David Boggs President/CEO ACRO Global|Publisher Tourism Marketer
David H. Boggs
President/CEO
ACRO Global
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