The latest data from Butter shows that, following a very difficult 2020, a more promising 2021 can be measured in the number of international tourists arriving each month.
Between February and March 2021, the number of tourists in Europe climbed from below 5 million to almost 6 million, a growth of 19.9 per cent. Heading into April, this number jumped up by a further 25.9 per cent before rising once again, this time by 60.9 per cent, into May when over 12.1 million international tourists entered Europe.
This recent growth means that European tourism has soared by 74.7 per cent between December 2020 and May 2021 – the biggest global bounce back of all areas.
Africa experiences drop in tourism
The American tourism industry has also seen a 14 per cent revival since December, with Asia & the Pacific seeing a total of 8.5 per cent growth in tourism and the Middle East enjoying total growth of two per cent during the same time.
The only region to experience an overall drop in tourism is Africa. With tourism having fallen by a significant -38.2 per cent between December 2020 and January 2021, the continent is yet to recover and remains -34.9 per cent below the tourism levels seen in December.
Timothy Davis, Co-Founder and CEO of Butter, commented: “The last six months really tell a tale of two halves and international tourism numbers have rebounded at quite an astounding rate since March, despite restrictions remaining in place and uncertainty deterring many from travelling.
“There is still quite some way to go before normality returns and it’s unlikely to do so this year, but the early indicators will bring hope for many across the global tourism industry that 2022 will be a far better year.”
Meanwhile, GlobalData said a desire to reconnect with family and friends after a year of stringent lockdown measures due to Covid-19 is likely greater than a leisure getaway in 2021 and should not be underestimated in travel’s recovery.