Special TTC: World tourism, good news everywhere

by Frank Martin

There are 235 million tourists who traveled around the world from January to March 2023.

This is an statistic that doubles compared to the same period in 2022, and it shows that good news is already coming for the global entertainment industry from across the planet.

Even without having registered May, everything indicates that the recovery process of the sector on the planet is a firm process.

Optimism gained ground not only in the travel industry.

Also in the conviction that the pandemic, whose vestiges remain in certain regions, should not stop the process of returning to abundance.

The data disclosed in this regard by the World Tourism Organization have not only shown that there is indeed a recovery, but that it is of high quality.

The UNWTO Barometer of the Year makes it clear that this return to normality is unfolding rapidly.

Other figures indicate that international arrivals from January to March reached 80% of the levels in the years immediately before the pandemic.

The forecasts for the entire year 2023 are undoubtedly encouraging. International experts point out that the worldwide tourist movement in all of 2022 was 960 million tourists.

A base point of the new statistics confirms that international visitor spending reached 64% of pre-pandemic levels.

This indicator demonstrates to many experts that the serious stress on the world economy caused by Covid-19 and its modalities did not close the possibility for vacation travelers to invest during their rest stays.

In the Americas, where the Caribbean region is located, pre-pandemic levels have already recovered by 85%. The destinations most favored by this success have been those that have best known how to counteract the impact of the epidemic, even at its worst.

However, several islands have managed to pick up the pace, although up to now it is a gradual and more or less slow process.

Europe tops that list by touching 90% of pre-pandemic levels. Asia still has to move faster and probably will after the full opening of the world’s biggest source of travelers, China.

A comment with the results that says it all was that of the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili: “The beginning of the year has once again demonstrated the unique capacity of tourism to recover. In many places, we are close to or even above pre-pandemic arrival levels,” he said.

And how are the longer-term forecasts going? Analysts believe they remain conservative.

The reason is that, in 2011, predictions said that in 2030 arrivals would reach 1.8 billion, a fabulous statistic.

Then -eight years before the unexpected pandemic broke out- it was expected that in 20 more years the growth of the sector would continue, although more moderate than expected.

One of the effects of the catastrophic impact of the coronavirus, some experts estimate, is that it seems to have shown that the bad surprises are possible not only health disasters but also unexpected war situations such as the one in Ukraine.

For this reason, currently the predictions for 2030 are few and diverse, which does not mean that they are pessimistic.

But they will surely be cautious.