The latest report from the United Nations specialized agency for tourism, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has revealed that 100% of global destinations now have restrictions on travel in place as the effect of the COVID 19 pandemic continues to ravage the world.
Of these, 83% have had COVID-19-related restrictions in place already for four or more weeks, and, as of 20 April 2020 so far no destination has lifted them, the report further stated.
As well as a general overview, the UNWTO research breaks down the type of travel restrictions that have been introduced by destinations in all of the global regions, while also plotting the evolution of these restrictions since 30 January 2020 when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
The latest analysis shows that of 217 destinations worldwide, 45% have totally or partially closed their borders for tourists meaning passengers are not allowed to enter. 30% have suspended totally or partially all international. 18% are banning the entry for passengers from specific countries of origin or passengers who have transited through specific destinations while 7% are applying different measures, such as quarantine or self-isolation for 14 days and visa measures.
According to UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, this research will go a long way in providing timely support in the implementation of the exit strategies allowing the destinations to ease or lift travel restrictions whenever it is safe to do so.
“Tourism has shown its commitment to putting people first. Our sector can also lead the way in driving recovery. This research on global travel restrictions will help support the timely and responsible implementation of exit strategies, allowing destinations to ease or lift travel restrictions when it is safe to do so. This way, the social and economic benefits that tourism offers can return, providing a path to sustainable recovery for both individuals and whole countries” he said.
Recall that UNWTO has led calls for governments worldwide to commit to supporting tourism through this unprecedented challenge with Pololikashvili positing that the sudden and unexpected fall in tourism demand caused by COVID-19 places millions of jobs and livelihoods at risk while at the same time jeopardising the advances made in sustainable development and equality over recent years.