Ksamil, Albania

Albania among best performing tourist destinations in Europe

Albania was among the best destinations in Europe for 2023. The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, a regular tracker of short-term tourism trends providing updated insights into international tourism, has positioned Albania in the fourth spot globally for the period spanning January to July 2023.

In this ranking, Albania achieved an impressive 53% growth rate, after Turks and Caicos. It follows Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Albania outperforms other well-known European destinations such as Greece, Italy, Spain, Croatia, and France, securing the top spot on the continent.

The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer is released quarterly and offers a comprehensive analysis of the most recent data related to tourist destinations and source markets.

Additionally, it incorporates a Confidence Index derived from the UNWTO Expert Panel survey, providing a contemporary assessment of international tourism performance and short-term outlooks.

UNWTO member states, associate members, and affiliate members receive the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer as part of their membership package.

International tourism has rebounded to 84% of pre-pandemic levels in the period from January to July 2023, demonstrating a -16% deviation from the 2019 baseline. This recovery follows a robust second quarter and the early summer season in the Northern Hemisphere.

Sustainable recovery trends

Despite economic and geopolitical challenges, the demand for travel has displayed remarkable elasticity and sustainable recovery trends.

After hitting the 80% mark in the first quarter of 2023, international tourist arrivals reached 85% of pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter of 2023 and further rose to 90% in July 2023. This resurgence has been fueled by pent-up demand.

During the first seven months of 2023, approximately 700 million tourists embarked on international journeys, representing a substantial 43% increase compared to the same period in 2022. Nevertheless, this figure remains 16% below the levels seen in 2019.

When analyzed by regions, the Middle East stood out with the most robust performance in January-July 2023, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by 20%.

Europe, being the world’s largest destination region, achieved 91% of pre-pandemic levels, driven by strong intra-regional demand.

Africa made a noteworthy recovery, with 92% of pre-crisis visitor numbers during this seven-month period, while the Americas reached 87%. In Asia and the Pacific, arrivals climbed to 61% of pre-pandemic levels.

Taking a closer look at subregions, North Africa (+8%), Central America (+2%), and Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+1%) all exceeded pre-pandemic levels in January-July 2023.

These promising results indicate that international tourism is on a trajectory to reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023, aligning with UNWTO’s projections outlined in the January 2023 World Tourism Barometer.

Looking ahead to the September-December 2023 period, forecasts suggest a continuous recovery, albeit at a more moderate pace following the peak travel season of June-August.

The complex economic landscape may influence spending patterns during the remainder of the year, with travelers increasingly prioritizing value for money, shorter journeys, and destinations closer to home.

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