UN Expects Global Tourism Rebound By 2024, Driven By Asia2 min read

In a recent report by the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the global tourism industry is poised for a strong comeback, with international tourism expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2024. The Asian region is playing a pivotal role in driving this resurgence, fueled by factors such as pent-up demand, increased air connectivity, and the robust recovery of Asian markets and destinations.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili highlighted the significant impact of this rebound, stating, “The latest UNWTO data underscores tourism’s resilience and rapid recovery, with pre-pandemic numbers expected by the end of 2024. The rebound is already having a significant impact on economies, jobs, growth, and opportunities for communities everywhere.”

Reportedly, in 2023, the Asia-Pacific region achieved 65% of pre-pandemic levels, with South Asia leading the way by reaching an impressive 87% recovery of 2019 levels. North-East Asia, while slightly behind, hovered around 55%. The UNWTO emphasized the considerable potential for further recovery across Asia, noting that the reopening of source markets and destinations will bolster recovery both regionally and globally.

The report also anticipates a notable acceleration in China’s outbound and inbound tourism in 2024, facilitated by improved visa procedures and enhanced air capacity. China’s recent initiation of visa-free travel for citizens of select countries, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia, on a trial basis until November 30, 2024, is expected to contribute to this acceleration.

Examining the international tourism landscape in 2023, the UNWTO reported that 1.3 million tourists ventured to foreign destinations globally, representing 88% of pre-pandemic levels and a significant 44% increase from 2022. Reportedly, the Middle East emerged as a standout region, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by 22%. Europe, as the world’s most visited region, reached 94% of 2019 levels, primarily propelled by tourists from the United States and heightened intra-regional demand.

As reported, preliminary estimates underscored the economic impact of the tourism industry’s resurgence, with receipts reaching $1.4 trillion in 2023, equivalent to 93% of the $1.5 trillion earned by destinations in 2019. As the sector continues on its path to recovery, the global tourism industry is poised to play a crucial role in driving economic growth and providing opportunities for communities worldwide.

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