The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has reported a stronger-than-expected recovery for the global tourism economy and predicted that global tourism will rebound to pre-pandemic levels in 2023.
Around 917 million tourists, or double from 2021, traveled internationally but this was still 63% of the pre-pandemic level in 2019, according to UNWTO data. Nonetheless, global international tourist arrivals were on track to reach 80-95% of pre-covid level in 2023, said Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general of UNWTO, citing suppressed demands to travel in Asia Pacific, especially from China.
China’s reopening would play a significant role in tourism recovery in Asia, while a stronger US dollar would benefit many tourist destinations worldwide, especially in Europe due to the euro’s relative weakness compared to the dollar.
The absence of Chinese tourists due to the Zero-Covid policy had dragged down the global tourism market and affected many Asian countries, including Thailand. But now with the policy virtually gone, Chinese tourist arrivals were expected to relieve the economy in Asia but still depended on the cost of air travel, visa regulations, and Covid-19-related restrictions in certain countries such as India, Japan, or South Korea.
Europe was still the most popular travel destination in the world in the past year, with 585 million tourist arrivals, almost 80% of the pre-outbreak level.
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