Greece and Austria achieved top-ten rankings among the world’s most visited international destinations in 2022, according to a recent report by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Greece secured the ninth spot on the top-ten list with 28 million international tourists, while Austria, with 26 million visitors, completed the list as the tenth most visited destination in 2022.
Both Greece and Austria entered the top ten list post-pandemic, a feat they had not accomplished just before the pandemic.
Compared to the 2019 figures, Austria experienced a 17.8 per cent decline in international arrivals in 2022.
Interestingly, despite the higher number of arrivals in 2019, which amounted to 31.884 million, Austria did not secure a spot in the top ten list of most-visited international destinations that year. However, in 2022, even with a decline, the country successfully made it to the top ten list with 26.215 million international tourist arrivals.
Austria experienced its most significant decline in international tourist arrivals, with a notable -60.1 per cent decrease between 2019 and 2021, as the number of visitors dropped from 31.884 million to 12.728 million.
Greece, like Austria, witnessed more international tourist arrivals in 2019 compared to 2022, and interestingly, it also did not make the top ten list in 2019, but it did in 2022.
In 2019, Greece recorded 31.348 million international tourist arrivals, while in 2022, it experienced an -11.2 per cent decline, totalling 27.836 million international tourist arrivals.
The Southern Aegean region, encompassing the islands of Rhodes and Mykonos, stood out as Greece’s most popular destination for international tourists in 2022.
The total contribution of travel and tourism to Greece’s GDP in 2022 was approximately €38 billion, representing a seven per cent decrease compared to 2019, according to Statista.
In Greece, most international travellers in 2022 originated from other European countries, with the United Kingdom and Germany being the primary inbound travel markets both before and after the pandemic’s impact.
Similarly, in Austria, the overall contribution of travel and tourism to the country’s GDP exceeded €37.384 billion, which was still around ten per cent lower than the pre-COVID-19 levels.
The top touristic destination in Austria in 2022 was Vienna, hosting over four million international travellers, a substantial three million more than Salzburg, which secured the second position that year.
Vienna’s arrivals accounted for 16 per cent of all international tourist visits in Austria, marking its status as one of the European cities with the highest inbound tourist traffic in 2022, just trailing Rome and surpassing other prominent European destinations like Venice, Berlin, and Milan.