UNWTO: International tourist number doubled in 2022

A UN organization says the number of international tourists roughly doubled in 2022 from the previous year but is still lower than pre-pandemic levels.

A report released by the UN World Tourism Organization, or UNWTO, on Tuesday says some 917 million tourists traveled internationally last year, and the number is 63 percent of the 2019 level.

The report says arrivals climbed to 83 percent of the pre-pandemic levels in the Middle East, where an expo and the soccer World Cup finals were held. Europe's number reached 80 percent, and both Africa and the Americas had 65 percent of their pre-pandemic levels.

It says the rate stood at only 23 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, where stronger COVID-related restrictions were in place.

The report notes that in the short term, Asian destinations are likely to have more arrivals from China after Beijing lifted its "zero COVID" policy this month.

It also says the global number of international tourists could reach 80 percent to 95 percent of the pre-pandemic levels this year.