from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
Western Cape Bureau
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – AFRICA has recorded a 171-percent increase in international tourist arrivals over the past year.
This as the sector continues to show strong signs of recovery.
Statistics are for the period of January to July 2022, comparative to the same period in 2021.
The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) noted an increase of 172 percent during the period.
An estimated 474 million tourists travelled internationally over the period, compared to the 175 million in the same months of 2021.
Arrivals reached 57 percent of pre-pandemic levels in the first seven months of 2022.
Among destinations reporting data on international arrivals in the period, those exceeding pre-pandemic levels include Ethiopia, with 13 percent.
Kenya (plus 5 percent) and Sudan (64 percent) are among countries whose international tourism receipts exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
The steady recovery reflects strong pent-up demand for international travel as well as the easing or lifting of travel restrictions to date.
Some 86 countries had no COVID-19 related restrictions as of September 19.
Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General, said tourism continues to recover steadily, yet several challenges remain, from geopolitical to economic.
“The sector is bringing back hope and opportunity for people everywhere,” he said.
“Now is also the time to rethink tourism, where it is going and how it impacts people and planet.”
UNWTO prospects for the remainder of the year are cautiously optimistic.
– CAJ News