International Tourism Returns to 60% of Pre-Pandemic Levels in January-July 2022

International Tourism Returns to 60% of Pre-Pandemic Levels in January-July 2022

With visitors reaching 57% of pre-pandemic levels in the first seven months of 2022, international tourism continued to exhibit encouraging signs of recovery.

International visitor visits nearly tripled from January to July 2022 (+172%) compared to the same period in 2021, according to the most recent UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. This indicates that the industry has nearly reached its pre-pandemic levels.

Strong pent-up demand for foreign travel as well as the current relaxing or removing of travel restrictions are reflected in the gradual recovery (86 countries had no COVID-19 related restrictions as of 19 September 2022).

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)

During that time, a projected 474 million tourists visited abroad, up from 175 million during the same months in 2021. Over twice as many foreign arrivals as in the same two months in 2021 were anticipated to have occurred in June and July 2022 combined.

The number of arrivals during these months makes up 44% of all those noted throughout the first seven months of 2022. Of these immigrants, 309 million—or 65% of the total—arrived in Europe.

In January–July 2022, Europe and the Middle East experienced the fastest rebound, with arrivals reaching 74% and 76% of 2019, respectively. Due to high intra-regional demand and travel from the United States, Europe welcomed over three times as many foreign arrivals in the first seven months of 2021 (+190%).

Due to the busy summer season, the region had particularly strong performances in June (-21% over 2019) and July (-16%). In July, arrivals increased to roughly 85% of 2019 levels. These results were also aided by the relaxation of travel restrictions in a significant number of locations (44 countries in Europe had no COVID-19 related restrictions as of 19 September 2022).

International arrivals to the Middle East increased by 287% more than they did a year earlier between January and July 2022. Arrivals increased by 3% in July compared to pre-pandemic levels, helped by Saudi Arabia's outstanding performance (+121%) during the Hajj pilgrimage.

In comparison to 2021, the Americas (+103%) and Africa (+171%) also had significant growth, reaching 65% and 60% of 2019 levels, respectively. Arrivals more than doubled in Asia and the Pacific (+165%) in the first seven months of 2022, but they were still 86% below 2019 levels because several borders were still blocked to non-essential travel.

Spending on international travel from important source markets is another indicator of the ongoing recovery. When compared to January through July of 2019, French spending increased to -12%, while German spending increased to -14%. Spending on international travel was down 23% in Italy and 26% in the US.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), robust performance was also seen in international passenger air traffic, which saw a 234% gain from January to July 2022 (45% below 2019 levels) and a return of almost 70% of pre-pandemic traffic levels in July.

Stronger-than-expected demand has also posed significant personnel and operational difficulties for tourism businesses and infrastructure, particularly airports. A significant negative risk is also posed by the economic situation, which has been made worse by Russian Federation action towards Ukraine.

Major obstacles to the recovery of global tourism during the rest of 2022 and 2023 are rising oil and food prices, rising interest rates in all major nations, and the growth prospects of a worldwide recession, as suggested by the World Bank.

The new UNWTO Confidence Index, which displays a more cautious perspective, as well as booking trends, which are exhibiting signals of slower growth, both point to a probable slowdown.



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