UNWTO: 115 global destinations eased travel restrictions
A majority of destinations around the world (53%) have now started easing travel restrictions introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Analyzing restrictions up to 1 September, the research carried out by the United Nations specialized agency for tourism found that a total of 115 destinations (53% of all destinations worldwide) have eased travel restrictions, an increase of 28 since 19 July. Of these, two have lifted all conditions, while the remaining 113 continue to have specific restrictive measures.
Within advanced economies, 79% of tourism destinations have already eased restrictions. In emerging economies, just 47% of destinations have done so. 64% of those destinations which have reduced have a high or medium dependence on-air as a mode of transport for international tourism arrivals.
Moreover, the data shows that many destinations worldwide are incredibly cautious about easing travel restrictions they introduced to the pandemic. Some have passed severe measures to keep their citizens safe. Ninety-three states (43% of all worldwide destinations) continue to have their borders completely closed to tourism, of which 27 have had their borders wholly closed for at least 30 weeks.
According to UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, coordinated leadership and enhanced cooperation between governments mean tourism is slowly but steadily restarting in many parts of the world. Starting to ease travel restrictions opens the doors for tourism’s social and economic benefits to return. While we must remain vigilant and cautious, we are concerned about those destinations with ongoing full travel restrictions, especially where tourism is a lifeline. Economic and social development is under threat.”