UNWTO: Global tourism in June and July still below 2019 levels

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Croatia is among the countries whose tourism sectors saw a moderate recovery this summer, reaching up to 80% of 2019 levels, a report by the UN World Tourism Organisation shows.

According to the latest edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, an estimated 54 million tourists crossed international borders in July 2021, down 67% from the same month in 2019, but the strongest results since April 2020. This compares to an estimated 34 million international arrivals recorded in July 2020, though well below the 164 million figure recorded in 2019.

"This improvement was underpinned by the reopening of many destinations to international travel, mostly in Europe and the Americas. The relaxation of travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers, coupled with progress made in the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, contributed to lifting consumer confidence and gradually restoring safe mobility in Europe and other parts of the world. In contrast, most destinations in Asia remain closed to non-essential travel," the report said.

Croatia among countries with smallest decreases

According to UNWTO, among the world's regions Europe and America recorded the smallest decreases in international tourist arrivals in June and July this year compared with 2019 due to a strong demand within their respective regions. Their results were driven by several large destinations whose individual results were better than the total results. UNWTO cited Mexico with a 19% decrease, Croatia, which recorded 22% fewer foreign tourists than in July 2019, Turkey (-33%), Greece (-50%) and Spain (-55%).

"Meanwhile, some small islands in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific, together with a few small European destinations recorded the best performance in June and July, with arrivals close to, or sometimes exceeding pre-pandemic levels," the report said. 

In this group, UNWTO singled out Albania, which registered only a 2% decrease in foreign tourist arrivals compared with June and July 2019, Sint Maarten (-4%), Aruba (-9%), Dominican Republic (-13%), Montenegro (-33%), Maldives (-36%) and Seychelles (-39%).

Despite the relaxation of travel restrictions, the number of foreign tourists globally fell by 80% in the first seven months of 2021 compared with the corresponding period of 2019 and by 40% compared with the same period of 2020.