International tourism reached 84% of its pre-pandemic level between January and July 2023, according to the UN World Tourism Organization. Around 700 million tourists traveled internationally.
The Middle East had the strongest international tourism demand among all regions, having exceeded 20% above its pre-pandemic level between January and July.
Other regions have not exceeded their pre-pandemic level. Europe hit 91% thanks to strong intra-regional demand and travel from the U.S., according to UN WTO. Africa reached 92% and the Americas reached 87%.
Asia-Pacific was far behind other regions in its recovery, having reached 61%. Many destinations and source markets in the region like China weren’t open for travel until the end of 2022 or earlier this year.
UNWTO expects pent-up demand and increased air connectivity in Asia-Pacific will bring international tourism to 80% to 95% of its pre-pandemic level by the end of 2023.
The challenging economic environment could slow the recovery. UNWTO pointed to persisting inflation and rising oil prices leading to higher transport and accommodation costs for tourists.
Middle East Travel Roundup
Get the latest news from the Middle East in one easy-to-digest newsletter.