Middle East, Europe, and Africa Lead Tourism Recovery in 2023 – UN Tourism

UNWTO reports near-complete tourism recovery in EMEA region in 2023.

Tourism in the Serengeti, Tanzania
Image/ David Clode

The first UNWTO World Tourism Barometer of 2024 reveals that the Middle East surpassed pre-pandemic tourism levels by 22% in 2023. Europe reached 94% of 2019 levels, while Africa recovered 96% of pre-pandemic visitors.

Developments and Economic Impact

International tourism receipts reached USD 1.4 trillion in 2023, about 93% of the earnings in 2019.

The total export revenues from tourism (including passenger transport) were estimated at USD 1.6 trillion in 2023.


UNWTO’s Tourism Recovery Tracker reveals both international air capacity and passenger demand recovered about 90% of pre-pandemic levels through October 2023 (IATA).

Global occupancy rates in accommodation establishments reached 65% in November.

Looking Ahead to 2024

The UNWTO projects international tourism will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2024, potentially achieving a 2% growth over 2019 levels.

The forecast depends on Asia’s recovery pace and the unfolding of current economic and geopolitical risks.