The world tourism industry has made an impressive recovery in the first 3 months of this year after being strongly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a report released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on June 6, the world recorded 117 million international visitors in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 182% over the same period last year. .
Although the number of 117 million tourists is still 61% lower than in the first quarter of 2019 (when the Covid-19 pandemic has not yet broken out), it partly shows that the tourism industry is thriving when measures The epidemic prevention is lifted and tourists have confidence again.
According to the same report, Europe had the strongest tourism recovery as the number of international visitors to the region increased by 280% over the same period in 2021. With the Americas, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific Duong, the number of international visitors also increased by 117%, 132% and 64% respectively.
UNWTO forecasts that the world tourism industry will continue to recover from now until the end of 2022 as more and more countries loosen or lift restrictions on epidemic prevention, boosting demand. As of June 2, 45 destinations, of which two-thirds are in Europe, have lifted all restrictive measures related to Covid-19. Asia alone also has many more destinations that have begun to ease restrictions.
Tourists in the city of Ronda, Spain on May 25. Photo: Reuters
In addition, the latest survey also UNWTO shows that tourism experts around the world are optimistic again. Specifically, the survey results show that 83% of the UNWTO Tourism Expert Council members rate the outlook for 2022 as better than last year, as long as the epidemic is contained and destinations continue to relax or remove the virus. remove travel restrictions.
Also, according to the page Travelweek48% of members think international arrivals in 2023 could return to 2019 levels, up from 32% in the previous survey.
Despite the positive news, UNWTO believes that a challenging economic environment, combined with the Russia-Ukraine conflict (which started on February 24), could threaten the recovery of tourism activities. international.
Of these, the crisis in Ukraine is said to have caused oil prices and inflation to rise further, and disrupt international supply chains, thereby increasing travel and accommodation costs for the tourism industry.
In 2020, Russia and Ukraine account for about 3% of international tourism spending. UNWTO estimates that if the Russia-Ukraine conflict drags on, global tourism will lose at least $14 billion from these expenditures in 2022.
Previously, a survey released by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in early February 2022 showed that tourism could contribute $8.6 trillion to the global economy this year, less than that. 6.4% from 2019 levels.
Julia Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said that the world travel and tourism industry has suffered huge losses in the past two years, but 2022 will see a strong revival of the tourism industry. global calendar if countries continue to open up and relax travel restrictions.
In 2019, the travel and tourism industry contributed 10.4% of global GDP and more than 330 million jobs. To reach pre-pandemic levels this year, the WTTC has made several recommendations, such that governments continue to focus on vaccination and booster shots, and allow travelers who have already visited given enough shots of the vaccine to be free to move without testing.
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