According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourism saw a 182% year-on-year increase in January-March 2022, with destinations worldwide welcoming an estimated 117 million international arrivals compared to 41 million in Q1 2021. Of the extra 76 million international arrivals for the first three months, 47 million were recorded in March, showing that the recovery is gathering pace. And whenever tourism increases, so does medical tourism.
Tourism continues to recover at a strong pace as restrictions end and confidence returns. Globally, destinations welcomed almost three times as many international arrivals in the first quarter of 2022 as in the same period of 2021, with Europe leading the sector’s rebound.
UNWTO data shows that during the first quarter of 2022, Europe welcomed almost four times as many international arrivals (+280%) as in Q1 of 2021, with results driven by strong intra-regional demand.
In the Americas, arrivals more than doubled (+117%) in the same three months. Arrivals in Europe and the Americas were still 43% and 46% below 2019 levels respectively.
The Middle East (+132%) and Africa (+96%) also saw strong growth in Q1 2022 compared to 2021, but arrivals remained 59% and 61% below 2019 levels respectively.
Asia and the Pacific recorded a 64% increase over 2021 but levels were 93% below 2019 numbers as several destinations remained closed to non-essential travel.
The Caribbean and Southern Mediterranean Europe continue to show the fastest rates of recovery. In both, arrivals recovered to nearly 75% of 2019 levels, with some destinations reaching or exceeding pre-pandemic levels.