One-third of tourism destinations are completely closed to visitors, says UNWTO

Published on : Monday, March 8, 2021

As per the recent data from the UN World Tourism Organization, globally, at this moment, one in three destinations are completely closed to international tourism.


The agency explained that the appearance of the new variants of COVID-19 virus has encouraged several world governments to overturn efforts to ease travel restrictions with total close down to tourists, most prevalent in Asia Pacific and Europe.


Almost 32% of all destinations worldwide, as of the beginning of February, are fully closed for international tourism. Almost just over half (38 destinations) have been closed for roughly 40 weeks. At the same time, now, 34% of destinations world over are closed to international tourists in a partial way.


The report explained that five destinations have raised all restrictions related to COVID-19 travel, namely Albania, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, North Macedonia and Tanzania.


The data features in the UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report. It provides an impression of the rules in place in 217 destinations.


To quote UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Polilikashvili, “Travel restrictions have been widely used to restrict the spread of the virus. Now, as we work to restart tourism, we must recognize that restrictions are just one part of the solution. Their use must be based on the latest data and analysis and consistently reviewed so as to allow for the safe and responsible restart of a sector upon which many millions of businesses and jobs depend.”


The UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report’s ninth edition shows that regional differences in travel restrictions continue. The borders which are completely closed to tourists of the 69 destinations, 30 are in Asia and the Pacific, 15 are in Europe, 11 are in Africa, 10 are in the Americas and three are in the Middle East.


Also, UNWTO research shows a tendency towards adopting a more “nuanced, evidence and risk-based approach” to employing travel restrictions. Now, growing numbers of destinations worldwide require international tourists to present a negative PCR or antigen test upon arrival and also provide contact details for tracing purposes.


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