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The World Economic Outlook (WEO) report analyses economic growth in every global region, connecting performance with key sectors, including tourism. Those economies notably, with large travel and tourism sectors explain strong economic resilience and robust levels of economic activity.

More specifically, countries where tourism shows a high percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) have recorded faster recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 in comparison to economies where tourism is not an important sector.

Strong demand for services has supported service-oriented economies — including important tourism destinations like Spain and France. Furthermore, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has predicted that the worldwide travel and tourism industry, which suffered a significant blow amid the pandemic, has made a remarkable recovery and was expected to generate $10 trillion by the end of 2023.

Despite the ongoing attempts in China to fully reopen its travel and visa processes, the sector’s performance has exceeded expectations.

Experts shared this optimistic viewpoint at the 23rd Global Summit and claimed that the worldwide tourism market is expected to surpass the $15 trillion mark within the next decade.

In its annual World Tourism Barometer report, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (WTO) recorded that the worldwide tourism industry has recovered to 87 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, explaining an improvement from the pandemic-induced shocks.

In the first nine months of the year, statistics showed that globally, an estimated 975 million tourists travelled worldwide. This was up by 38 per cent over the same months of 2022.

This growth reduced the gap with 2019 levels to just 13 per cent at the same time. Statistics also showed that this generated an estimated $1.4 trillion globally, or almost 93 per cent of 2019’s global receipts of $1.5 trillion. It is recorded that the Middle East continued to lead tourism recovery by regions in relative terms, with arrivals 20 percent above pre-pandemic levels in the first nine months of 2023. The world’s largest tourist destination region, Europe recovered to 94 per cent of pre-pandemic levels because of robust intra-regional demand. In Asia and the Pacific, arrivals climbed to 62 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. In comparison, Africa recovered 92 per cent of pre-crisis visitors in the nine months. America recovered to 88 per cent. Egypt and Serbia were the best-performing countries according to WTO. The International arrivals to reach 1.3 billion in 2023, up 33 per cent over 2022 and almost 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, in line with UNWTO scenarios published in January.

Developing countries like Pakistan, renowned as a land of beauty, beckons travelers to experience its unmatched tourism opportunities, from cultural exploration and eco-tourism to the discovery of Sikh heritage. No doubt, the nation is poised to attract a significant number of foreign tourists and expatriate Pakistanis, showcasing the diversity and charm that explains our country as a must-visit destination.

In 2023, Pakistan’s fledgling tourism industry rebounded after the Covid-19 induced global pandemic disruption. Statistics showed that Pakistan saw a 115 per cent increase in the arrival of foreign tourists, assisting Pakistan earn $1.3 billion in foreign exchange revenue. Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) recorded that the rise in foreign nationals arriving in the country is because of joint attempts 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. Experts said that in August 2023, Pakistan introduced the ‘Salam Pakistan’ campaign with a robust online marketing strategy, which assisted draw more visitors. It is hoped that despite the challenges, they could further enhance in 2024. PTDC urged that alongside Pakistan’s stunning natural landscapes, its high-quality cuisine can serve as a major attraction for both international and local tourists. PTDC further said that witnessing the rise in participation of women in the food sector would not only create jobs but also economically empower them, adding that the government of Pakistan was appreciating their contribution to the culinary landscape and tourism industry. The cuisines of the hotels and restaurants worldwide underscore their contribution to the country’s pride.


Diversifying tourism strategies and activities is essential for countries to build resilience against economic fluctuations, mitigate overreliance on a single industry, and foster sustainable development that advantages both the local communities and the environment. Long-term planning is crucial for a more risk-resilient travel and tourism sector that anticipates and plans for future headwinds while maximizing development potential in Pakistan.