UNWTO's World Tourism Market Report, known as the World Tourism Barometer, indicates a direct link between the real estate market and the tourist appeal of many countries, especially those where foreigners are large buyers, such as the UAE. It is important for investors to know and analyze trends in tourist traffic, which creates significant demand for short-term rental properties through major aggregators.
The report presents the following key points:
1. International tourism has recovered 84% from pre-pandemic levels for the period January-July 2023, driven by a successful first quarter and summer tourism season in the Northern Hemisphere.
2. Tourist numbers have already reached 90% of pre-pandemic levels in July 2023 (comparable to 2019).
3. In 2019, 1.464 billion tourist trips were made worldwide, in 2020, during the pandemic, this number decreased by 3.5 times to 407 million trips, and in 2022 it reached 969 million trips again.
4. In the first 7 months of 2023, 700 million tourist trips were made. Given the positive growth rate, pre-pandemic levels can be expected to be reached globally by the end of 2023 or, at the very least, in 2024.
5. The Middle East shows the best results by macro-region - its performance in the first 7 months of 2023 is already 120% of the same period in 2019 (+20%). Qatar (+95%), Saudi Arabia (+58%), Jordan (+23%) and the UAE (+10%) are particularly notable.
6. Countries in other macro-regions that show strong growth include Albania (+56%), El Salvador (+32%), Armenia (+30%), Ethiopia (+28%) and Colombia (+23%).
7. In July 2023, average hotel occupancy was 70% and airlines report 84% occupancy according to IATA.
It is worth considering these trends when planning travel and buying real estate abroad.