Tourism arrivals globally not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024

Published on : Thursday, January 20, 2022

Tourism arrivals globally are not expected to come back to their pre-pandemic levels until 2024, said the World Tourism Organization.

The highly contagious Omicron variant, although mild, will “disrupt the recovery” in early 2022 after last year saw four percent growth over 2020, as per the Madrid-based UN agency’s World Tourism Barometer.

Tourism revenue in 2020 dropped 72 per cent compared to the year before.

“The pace of recovery remains slow and uneven across world regions due to varying degrees of mobility restrictions, vaccination rates and traveller confidence,” said the UNWTO.

In Europe and the Americas, foreign visitor arrivals surged by 19 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively, last year compared to 2020.

However, in the Middle East, arrivals went down by 24 per cent in 2021, while in the Asia-Pacific region, they were 65 per cent below 2020 levels, and 94 per cent down compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Tourism professionals “see better prospects” this year after instability in the early months due to the Omicron wave.
The UNWTO predicts a 30 to 78 per cent increase in international arrivals this year over 2021.

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