UNWTO Executive Council meets in Marrakech, post Covid-19 challenges & soaring energy prices top agenda – The North Africa Post
The Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization opened Wednesday in Marrakesh to discuss the post-covid19 challenges facing tourism amid high inflation, soaring energy costs, and an aggravated Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has triggered a global crisis in energy.
Over 250 representatives of UNWTO member countries, including tourism ministers, public or private investors, travel agents, hotel & travel industry professional… are gathering in Marrakesh to exchange ideas and coordinate strategies to support the resilience of tourism sector around the world.
The agenda includes the election of the Chair and two vice-chairs of the Executive council, the organization’s budget & future action plan as well as the proposal of increasing the financial contribution of member countries.
Participants will also look into the proposal to set up a task force on “Redesigning Tourism for the Future” and the establishment of UNWTO Regional and Thematic Offices.
Moroccan tourism minister Fatim-Zahra Ammor said the event is an opportunity to showcase Morocco’s huge tourism potentials, promote inbound tourism through a diverse competitive package offering the best of the country to the world as there is pent-up demand for travel.
The latest World Tourism Barometer shows that international tourism is on track for reaching 65% of pre-pandemic levels before 2022, as the sector continues to rebound from the pandemic.
Between January and September 2018, an estimated 700 million tourists traveled abroad, which is more than double (+133%) what was recorded in the same time frame in 2021. This is 63% of 2019 levels. It puts the sector on track to reach 65% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to UNWTO scenarios. The strong pent up demand, higher confidence levels and lifting of restrictions in increasing number of destinations boosted the sector’s results.
Europe continues to lead international tourism’s recovery. In January-September 2022, the region hosted 477 million international visitors (68% of the total world), and reached 81% of pre-pandemic levels. This was more that twice the number of 2021 (+126%). The strong intra-regional demand as well as travel from the United States boosted these numbers. Europe had a particularly strong performance in Q3, with arrivals exceeding 90% of 2019 levels.
The Middle East also saw an increase in international arrivals of more than three times (+225%) from January to September 2022. This equated to 77% of pre-pandemic levels.
Some destinations also saw significant increases in international tourist receipts in the first seven- to nine months of 2022.
However, the Russia/Ukraine war and the increase in energy prices could hinder recovery in the fourth quarter of 2022 and beyond. Despite increasing challenges, tourism export revenues could reach $1.2 trillion to 1.3 trillion by 2022. This is a 60-70% increase over 2021 or 70-80% of 2019’s $1.8 trillion.
Source: north africa post