Europe & Asia to Lead Global Travel to Pre-Pandemic Levels in 2024
According to a recent study in the global travel industry, international travel trips are projected to surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2024, showing a 3% rise compared to 2019 and reaching over 2 billion for the second time in history.
Although outbound travel recovery from China has been sluggish in 2023, it is anticipated to take another 12-18 months to reach pre-pandemic levels. Industry experts predict that China will be a key driver of growth in 2024, with Asia-Pacific markets leading the way in both outbound (39% increase) and inbound (69% increase) travel.
In the year 2024, France, as the host country for the Olympic Games, will play a significant role in attracting tourists from other countries. It is estimated that approximately 11% of all international visitors in 2024 will be accounted for by France.
According to the recently conducted study, titled International Travel Trends & Forecasts 2024, it has been projected that by the conclusion of 2028, there will be a notable increase in international travel, reaching a total of 2.8 billion journeys. Professionals in the industry predict strong expansion in both emerging and well-established travel markets within the next five years, largely driven by significant sporting events scheduled to take place in North America and Latin America in 2026.
Robust expansion anticipated in 2023, propelled by the Europe and Central Asia region.
In spite of geopolitical hurdles like a weakened economic forecast and Russian aggression in Ukraine, international travel showed positive recovery in 2023, exceeding 1.7 billion trips, a 32% increase from 2022. The growth was mainly driven by Europe & Central Asia, which accounted for more than 50% of total international trips in 2023. However, the Q4 2023 international travel data was significantly impacted by the recent Israel anti-terrorism operation against Hamas terrorists. Analysts predict that neighboring countries such as Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon will be affected, despite their impressive recovery in inbound and outbound tourism during the first three quarters of 2023.
In 2023, industry projections indicate a 22% increase in the number of tourists visiting Israel compared to 2020. However, these positive trends are expected to reverse dramatically in 2024, with a predicted decline of over 40%. Additionally, ongoing travel cancellations to neighboring countries will continue to impede travel growth across the Middle East region.
Global International Travel Survey 2023 – Key Findings:
Among the surveyed participants, both India and the US emerged as the top countries where leisure is the predominant motive for international travel.
Travel respondents have a preference for short-haul trips when it comes to their upcoming international travels.
Europe was identified as the top choice for travel among survey participants, whether it be for business or leisure purposes, within the upcoming year.