July 14, 2024

International tourist arrivals surge to 97 percent of the pre-pandemic levels

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International tourist arrivals surged to 97 percent of pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2024, with projections indicating that numbers are expected to exceed those of 2019 over the rest of the year, the UN Tourism reported.

The Madrid based organisation’s report shows that 285 million tourists made international trips between January and March, marking an increase of around 20 percent compared to the same period in 2023.

UN Tourism anticipates a full recovery of international tourism or the rest of the year, with arrivals growing two percent above 2019 levels.

There was also strong growth in the Middle East where international tourism was 36 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels while Europe received 120 million international tourists, also representing a one percent rise from that of 2019.

Welcoming the results, Secretary General of UN Tourism Zurab Pololikashvili highlighted their positive impact on local economies.

The recovery of the sector is very welcome news for our economies and the livelihoods of millions, he said while stressing the need to advance sustainability and inclusion while addressing the externalities and impact of the sector on resources and communities.

Total export revenues from international tourism, including both receipts and passenger transport, reached $1.7 trillion in 2023, about 96 percent of pre-pandemic levels in real terms.

Tourism direct GDP recovered pre-pandemic levels, reaching an estimated $3.3 trillion in 2023, equivalent to three percent of global GDP.

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