International tourism continues to see recovery

 Tuesday, March 29, 2022 


The UNWTO reports that international tourism continued its recovery in January, with a much better performance compared to the weak start to 2021. However, the Russian ivasion of Ukraine has added a pressure to existing economic uncertainties, coupled with many Covid-19-related travel restrictions still in place. This is raising the concerns about travelling to Europe.

The latest data shows that global international tourist arrivals more than doubled in January compared to 2021. The 18 million more visitors recorded worldwide in the first month of this year equals the total increase for the whole of 2021.

These figures confirm the positive trend that was already underway last year, the pace of recovery in January was impacted by the emergences of the Omicron variant and the re-introduction of travel restrictions in several destinations.

There was a 71% decline of 2021, international arrivals in January remained 67% below the pre-pandemic levels. All regions across the world enjoyed a significant rebound in January, though they were low compared to the start of 2021.

Europe and the Americas continued to post the strongest results, with international arrivals still around half pre-pandemic levels. After the unprecedented drop of 2020 and 2021, international tourism is expected to continue its gradual recovery in 2022.

The shutdown of Ukrainian and Russian airspace, as well as the ban on Russian carriers by many European countries is affecting intra-European travel. This has affected the global tourism market as Russia and Ukraine accounted for a combined 3% of global spending on international tourism in 2020 and at least US$14 billion in global tourism receipts could be lost if the conflict is prolonged.

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