The number of international tourists doubles to 235 million in the first quarter

Ahmed Hatem/ Anatolia

The World Tourism Organization said, on Tuesday, that the number of tourist arrivals around the world in the first quarter of 2023 rose to 235 million, more than double the number in the same period of 2022.

A report published by the organization added that global tourism is on the “right track” to fully recover from the repercussions of Corona.

“The global tourism barometer shows that the rapid recovery of the sector has continued into 2023,” the report continued.

International tourist arrivals reached 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2023.

The report stated that tourism continued to show its resilience, explaining that the revised data for 2022 show that more than 960 million tourists traveled internationally, which means that two-thirds (66 percent) of the pre-pandemic numbers have recovered.

The report indicated that the Middle East region witnessed the strongest performance in the first quarter as the only region that exceeded 2019 levels by 15 percent.

Europe reached 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, driven by strong demand within the region, while Africa reached 88 percent and the Americas at about 85 percent of 2019 levels.

While the Asia-Pacific region accelerated its recovery to 54 percent from pre-pandemic levels, this upward trend is set to accelerate now that most destinations, particularly China, have reopened.

“The beginning of the year has demonstrated once again the unique potential of tourism to recover… In many places, we are approaching or even higher than arrival levels,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

At the same time, Pololikashvili warned, according to the report, of challenges that include geopolitical insecurity, staff shortages and the potential impact of the cost-of-living crisis on tourism.

International tourism revenues have grown again, reaching $1 trillion in 2022, an increase of 50 percent over 2021 levels.

The aviation and tourism sectors were the sectors most affected by the Corona pandemic during the years 2020 and 2021, then they began to recover since last year.

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