Here's a reason for cheer. International travel doubled in 2022 compared to levels in 2021, with the Middle East and Europe making a strong comeback, according to a new report by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
More than 900 million people travelled abroad in 2022, according to the UN organisation, as several nations with strict coronavirus prohibitions loosened regulations. According to the report, the figure was 63% of pre-pandemic levels. Almost 1.5 billion people travelled abroad in 2019.
The report estimates that 455 million individuals will travel abroad in 2021.
As international arrivals increased to 83% of pre-pandemic levels last year, the Middle East saw the strongest relative growth.
When compared to travel levels prior to the pandemic, Europe, whose 31 nations had no coronavirus limitations as of June 2 of last year, also achieved a strong recovery, accounting for 80% of that recovery.
International travel in Africa and America increased to roughly 65% of pre-pandemic levels, whereas Asia and the Pacific recovered far more slowly.
International arrivals only reached 23% of pre-pandemic levels since some Asia-Pacific nations still abide by coronavirus quarantines.
The latest UNWTO Confidence Index shows cautious optimism for January-April, higher than the same period in 2022. This optimism is backed by the opening up in Asia and strong spending numbers in 2022 from both traditional and emerging tourism source markets, with France, Germany and Italy as well as Qatar, India and Saudi Arabia all posting strong results.