Madrid : According to the first UNWTO World Tourism Barometer of 2024, international tourism ended at 88 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in 2023, with 1.3 billion international arrivals. Remaining pent-up demand, increased air connectivity, and a stronger recovery of Asian markets and destinations, are expected to lead to a complete recovery by 2024 end, with initial estimates pointing to 2 per cent growth above 2019 levels.
The positive outlook is reflected in the latest UNWTO Tourism Confidence Index survey, with 67 per cent of tourism professionals indicating better or much better prospects for 2024 compared to 2023.
As per the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the Middle East led recovery in relative terms as the only region to overcome pre-pandemic levels with arrivals 22 per cent above 2019. Europe, the world's most visited region, reached 94 per cent of 2019 levels, supported by intra-regional demand and travel from the United States. Africa recovered 96 per cent of pre-pandemic visitors and Americas reached 90 per cent. Asia and the Pacific reached 65 per cent of pre-pandemic levels following the reopening of several markets and destinations.
International tourism receipts reached USD 1.4 trillion in 2023 according to preliminary estimates, about 93 per cent of the USD 1.5 trillion earned by destinations in 2019. Total export revenues from tourism (including passenger transport) are estimated at USD 1.6 trillion in 2023, almost 95 per cent of the USD 1.7 trillion recorded in 2019.