UNWTO reports 40% global destinations have eased international travel restrictions

Published on : Monday, August 3, 2020

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently published an analysis that shows nearly 40% of all destinations across the world have now eased the restrictions that was placed on international tourism in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis comes in light of the responsible restart of tourism around the world with a growing numbers of destinations easing travel restrictions and adapting to the ‘new normal.’

Ever since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations specialized agency for tourism has been monitoring global responses towards the crisis. The latest report, as recorded on July 19 shows that the graph is up from 22% of destinations that had eased travel restrictions by 15 June and the 3% previously observed by May 15. The record confirms the the trend of a slow but continuous adaptation and responsible restart of international tourism.

The report also mentions that out of the 87 destinations that have now eased travel restrictions, only four has lifted all restrictions completely. Meanwhile, the remaining 83 have eased certain restrictions while keeping some measures such as the partial closure of borders in place. In addition, the latest edition of the UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report shows that nearly 115 destinations (53% of all destinations worldwide) continue to keep their borders completely closed for tourism.

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO said in a statement that the restart of tourism can be undertaken responsibly and in a way that safeguards public health alongside supporting businesses and livelihoods. He mentioned that as destinations continue to ease travel restrictions, international cooperation is highly important so that global tourism can gain people’s trust and confidence which will serve as essential foundations while everyone works together to adapt to the new reality.

According to the UNWTO report, destinations with a higher dependency on tourism are more likely to be easing restrictions on travel. It has explained that of the 87 destinations that have recently eased restrictions, 20 are Small Island Developing States (SIDS), many of which depend on tourism as a central pillar of employment, economic growth and development. The report also shows that around half (41) of all those destinations that have eased restrictions are in Europe, confirming the leading role of the region for the responsible restart of tourism.

The report also analysed that of the 115 destinations that continue to maintain border closures and restricts entry of international tourists, a majority (88) have kept their borders completely closed for international tourism for more than 12 weeks.

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