One-third of countries have shut down their borders to tourists

 Monday, March 22, 2021 

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Shouldn’t travelers feel very happy due to the relief right now? Vaccines for COVID-19 are rolling out, ads for bargain-priced overseas getaways are increasing, half-price airfares for interstate regional travel, domestic cruising recommencing in mid-year with light at the end of the tunnel?


With marketing campaigns, countries are priming the pump, requesting the travelers to visit. We’ve pretty much fought COVID outbreak to a standstill in Australia and New Zealand, along with the Asia Pacific. From COVID-19, Taiwan recorded just 10 deaths, Vietnam 35 cases of deaths, Singapore 30 respectively. Shouldn’t we be celebrating and observing some sort of relaxation in restrictions related to travel that stop us from visiting overseas?


In our region, that’s not what’s happening.


“One in three destinations worldwide are now completely closed to international tourism.”


So begins a complete overview of restrictions related to travel published lately by the UN World Tourism Organization. Another one in three destinations are closed partially while just five including Tanzania and Nicaragua have raised all travel restrictions related to COVID-19.


This is the ninth review of UNWTO regarding travel restrictions, and one of its conclusions is a slight reversal of the trends in earlier reviews where easing of travel restrictions were showed. Rather, countries are shutting down their borders as a result of new and more infectious variants of the COVID-19, with total closures to visitors most prevalent in the Asia Pacific region and Europe.


This change might appear like the last death knell for many tourism-dependent businesses, it could just be a small malfunction in a positive trend. While one-third of all destinations with closed borders might sound a lot, in April 2020 the figure was over 70 per cent.

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