Pakistan Was Best For Tourism In 2023: Report

A report by a global body found that in the first nine months of the year, Pakistan was the best for tourists, with a 115% increase in foreign tourists 

Pakistan Was Best For Tourism In 2023: Report

Pakistan has been declared as the best tourist destination for the outgoing year 2023. 

The report showed that Pakistan's fledgling tourism industry rebounded after the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) induced global pandemic disruption.

In its annual World Tourism Barometer report, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (WTO) said that the global tourism industry has recovered to 87% of pre-pandemic levels, showing an improvement from the Covid-19-induced shocks. 

In the first nine months of the year, it said that globally, an estimated 975 million tourists travelled worldwide. This was up by 38% over the same months of 2022. At the same time, this growth reduced the gap with 2019 levels to just 13%. This generated an estimated $1.4 trillion globally, or around 93% of 2019's global receipts of $1.5 trillion.

The Middle East continued to lead tourism recovery by regions in relative terms, with arrivals 20% above pre-pandemic levels in the first nine months of 2023. The world's largest tourist destination region, Europe recovered to 94% of pre-pandemic levels due to robust intra-regional demand.

In Asia and the Pacific, arrivals climbed to 62% of pre-pandemic levels. In comparison, Africa recovered 92% of pre-crisis visitors in the nine months. Americas recovered to 88%.

Egypt and Serbia were the best-performing countries according to WTO.

The WTO expects international arrivals to reach 1.3 billion in 2023, up 33% over 2022 and almost 90% of pre-pandemic levels, in line with UNWTO scenarios published in January.

The report noted that Pakistan saw a 115% increase in the arrival of foreign tourists, helping the country earn $1.3 billion in foreign exchange revenue.

Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Managing Director Aftab Rana said that the increase in foreign nationals arriving in Pakistan is due to joint efforts to promote tourism in Pakistan. This includes Pakistan's participation in six major global exhibitions, including World Travel Mart London, ITB Berlin, and New York Travel and Adventure, among others.

He added that in August 2023, the country launched the 'Salam Pakistan' campaign with a robust online marketing strategy, which helped draw more visitors.

Caretaker Minister for State for Tourism Wasi Shah congratulated all stakeholders involved. He hoped that despite the challenges, they could further improve in 2024.