August'22 Message from the CEO

Daniela Otero

CEO, Skål International

International tourism continues to show signs of a strong and steady recovery from the impact of the pandemic despite significant mounting economic and geopolitical challenges.

The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer regularly monitors short-term tourism trends to provide tourism stakeholders with an up-to-date analysis of international tourism.

The report is published four times a year and includes an analysis of the latest data on tourism destinations (inbound tourism) and source markets (outbound tourism). The Barometer also includes a Confidence Index based on the UNWTO Tourism Panel Survey, which provides an assessment of the latest performance and short-term prospects of international tourism.

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourism saw a strong rebound in the first five months of 2022, with almost 250 million international arrivals recorded. This means that the sector has recovered almost half (46%) of pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

Europe and Americas lead recovery

Europe welcomed more than four times as many international arrivals as in the first five months of 2021 (+350%), boosted by strong intra-regional demand and the removal of all travel restrictions in a growing number of countries. In the Americas, arrivals more than doubled (+112%). However, the strong rebound is measured against weak results in 2021 and arrivals remain overall 36% and 40% below 2019 levels in both regions, respectively.

The recovery of tourism has gathered pace in many parts of the world, weathering the challenges standing in its way.

The same pattern is seen across other regions. The strong growth in the Middle East (+157%) and Africa (+156%) remained 54% and 50% below 2019 levels respectively, and Asia and the Pacific almost doubled arrivals (+94%), though numbers were 90% below 2019, as some borders remained closed to non-essential travel. Here, the recent easing of restrictions can be seen in improved results for April and May.

Looking at subregions, several have recovered between 70% and 80% of their pre-pandemic levels, led by the Caribbean and Central America, followed by Southern Mediterranean, Western and Northern Europe. It is noteworthy that some destinations surpassed 2019 levels, including US Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, the Republic of Moldova, Albania, Honduras, and Puerto Rico.

Also, the tourism spending out of the major source markets is consistent with the observed recovery. International expenditure by tourists from France, Germany, Italy, and the United States is now at 70% to 85% of pre-pandemic levels, while spending from India, Saudi Arabia and Qatar has already exceeded 2019 levels.

In terms of international tourism receipts earned in destinations, a growing number of countries - the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Seychelles, Romania, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Mexico, Croatia, and Portugal – have fully recovered their pre-pandemic levels.

Download the last edition of the UNWTO Barometer, issue 4 July 2022, below:

At Skål International we remain confident in the recovery of our tourism industry, standing strong with our members and supporting their efforts, as it is the people who make these changes possible. 

We should certainly be proud of this in an organisation like ours, where members come first.

Daniela Otero

CEO, Skål International