Global tourism on a recovery trajectory

05 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
Global tourism on a recovery trajectory Zurab Pololikashvili

eBusiness Weekly

Business Writer

Global tourist arrivals registered a 225 percent growth to close at 250 million in the first five months of the year compared to the corresponding period in 2021.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) attributed the positive trajectory to continued signs of a strong and steady recovery from the impact of the pandemic despite significant mounting economic and geopolitical challenges.

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the statistics for January to May 2022 compares to 77 million arrivals from January to May 2021 and means that the sector has recovered almost half (46 percent) of pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

“The recovery of tourism has gathered pace in many parts of the world, weathering the challenges standing in its way”, UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili was quoted as saying.

At the same time, he also advises caution in view of the “economic headwinds and geopolitical challenges which could impact the sector in the remainder of 2022 and beyond”.

Europe welcomed more than four times as many international arrivals as in the first five months of 2021 (+350 percent), boosted by strong intra-regional demand and the removal of all travel restrictions in a growing number of countries.

The region saw particularly robust performance in April (+458 percent), reflecting a busy Easter period.
In the Americas, arrivals more than doubled (+112 percent).

“However, the strong rebound is measured against weak results in 2021 and arrivals remain overall 36 percent and 40 percent below 2019 levels in both regions, respectively.

“The recovery of tourism has gathered pace in many parts of the world, weathering the challenges standing in its way. The same pattern is seen across other regions,” said UNWTO.

The strong growth in the Middle East (+157 percent) and Africa (+156 percent) remained 54 percent and 50 percent below 2019 levels respectively, and Asia and the Pacific almost doubled arrivals (+94 percent), though numbers were 90 percent percent below 2019, as some borders remained closed to non-essential travel.

The recent easing of restrictions can be seen in improved results for April and May.

Looking at sub-regions, several have recovered between 70 percent and 80 percent of their pre-pandemic levels, led by the Caribbean and Central America, followed by Southern Mediterranean, Western and Northern Europe.

“It is noteworthy that some destinations surpassed 2019 levels, including the US Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, the Republic of Moldova, Albania, Honduras and Puerto Rico,” said the world tourism body.

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