France Was 2023’s Top Tourist Destination With 100M Arrivals

UN Tourism has revealed the 2023 data for the UN World Tourism Barometer. Read below to know how the world gallivanted in 2023 and how it might change in 2024.

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By Mrinal
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France saw 100 million international arrivals in 2023

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In a post on social media, UN Tourism has unveiled the data from UN World Tourism Barometer. The Barometer monitors short-term tourism trends on a regular basis to provide global tourism stakeholders with up-to-date analysis on international tourism.

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Data shared by UN Tourism

UN World Tourism Barometer Data

According to the report, international tourism reached 97% of pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2024. International arrivals (overnight visitors) reached 97% of 2019 levels in the first quarter of 2024. The Middle East continued to see the strongest relative growth in arrivals, while Africa and Europe exceeded pre-pandemic levels. International arrivals (overnight visitors) reached 97% of 2019 levels in the first quarter of 2024, reflecting an almost complete recovery of pre-pandemic numbers. According to the data, France was the top destination with 100M international arrivals in 2023. Spain, USA, and Italy followed next.

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International tourism reached 97% of pre-pandemic levels in Q4 2024

An estimated 285 million tourists travelled internationally in the first three months of 2024, about 20% more than in the same period of 2023. These results were boosted by continued strong demand, the opening of Asian markets, as well as by enhanced air connectivity and visa facilitation. The Middle East saw the strongest relative growth, with international arrivals exceeding by 36% pre-pandemic levels in Q1 2024. Europe exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time in a quarter (+1% from Q1 2019).

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Around 285 million tourists travelled internationally in the first 3 months of 2024

Africa welcomed 5% more arrivals in the first quarter of 2024 than in Q1 2019, while the Americas practically reached pre-pandemic numbers (99%). Arrivals in Asia and the Pacific recovered 82% of pre-pandemic levels in Q1 2024, after recovering 65% in 2023. By subregions, North Africa saw the strongest performance with 23% more international arrivals in Q1 2024 than before the pandemic, followed by Central America (+15%), the Caribbean and Western Europe (both +7%).

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Arrivals in Asia and the Pacific recovered 82% of pre-pandemic levels

Total export revenues from international tourism, including both receipts and passenger transport, reached $1.7 trillion in 2023, about 96% of pre-pandemic levels in real terms (i.e. excluding inflation). Tourism direct GDP recovered pre-pandemic levels in 2023, reaching an estimated USD 3.3 trillion, equivalent to 3% of global GDP.

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Total export revenue from international tourism was $1.7 trillion in 2023

The latest UN Tourism Confidence Index shows positive prospects for the period May-August 2024, though economic and geopolitical headwinds continue to pose significant challenges to the complete recovery of international tourism and confidence levels.

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Figures look positive for the May-August 2024 period

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 UN Tourism Panel of Tourism Experts survey, which provides an evaluation of recent performance and short-term prospects on international tourism. UN Tourism Member States, Associate Members and Affiliate Members receive the UN Tourism World Tourism Barometer as a part of member's service.

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