In the first nine months of this year, approximately 700 million tourists travelled around the world, which is 133 percent more than at the same time in 2021, but also at the level of 63 percent recorded in the pre-pandemic 2019, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reported on Wednesday.
Based on the new, provisional results of its World Tourism Barometer, as well as estimates from a panel of tourism experts, UNWTO estimates that by the end of 2022, there could be some reduction in world travel due to challenges related to the economic crisis, high inflation and the war in Ukraine, which could influence tourist traffic in 2023 as well.
Nevertheless, despite all these challenges, which slow down the recovery of tourism at the global level, the UNWTO points out that export revenues from tourism could reach 1,200 to 1,300 billion US dollars by the end of this year, which would be about 70 percent more than in 2021, and at the level of 70 to 80 percent of the total 1,800 billion dollars of revenue generated globally in 2019.
UNWTO also expects that by the end of the year, a total of more than 900 million tourist arrivals will be recorded in the world, and thus their number will reach the level of 65 percent from the pre-pandemic 2019.
Almost 50 percent of the total tourist arrivals in the world in the first nine months, or 340 million of them, were achieved only in the third quarter of 2022.
More than half of all those who travelled around the world by the end of September, i.e. 68 percent or 477 million of them, were in Europe, which thus maintains the leading position among all world regions, as well as reaching the highest level of 81 percent of this traffic from 2019.
In addition, Europe recorded a particularly strong performance in the third quarter alone, when the number of tourist arrivals reached almost 90 percent of the 2019 level.
Compared to the same time in 2021, there were 126 percent more tourists in Europe by the end of September this year, which the UNWTO says is driven by strong demand within Europe itself and trips from the USA.
Among those who achieved a significant increase in income from international tourism in the first nine months of 2022, UNWTO singles out Serbia, Romania, Turkey, Latvia, Portugal, Pakistan, Mexico, Morocco and France, while among the tourists with the highest spending, those from Germany, Belgium, Italy, USA, Qatar, India and Saudi Arabia.