World Tourism Remains at Standstill

Singapore

COVID-19 has placed the whole world on lockdown, according to UNWTO, the World Tourism Organization, with 100% of global destinations continuing restrictions on travel, and with 72% having completely closed their borders to international tourism.

The United Nations agency for tourism said it has been tracking the pandemic and it latest research shows that while discussions on possible first measures for lifting restrictions are underway,100% of destinations worldwide still have COVID-19 related travel restrictions for international tourists in place.

Out of all 217 destinations worldwide, 156 (72%) have placed a complete stop on international tourism according to the data collected as of April 27, 2020. In 25% of destinations, restrictions have been in place for at least three months, while in 40% of destinations, restrictions were introduced at least two months ago. The research also found that no destination has so far lifted or eased travel restrictions.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said in a prepared statement: “Tourism has been the hardest hit of all the major sectors as countries lock down and people stay at home. UNWTO calls on governments to work together to coordinate the easing and lifting of restrictions in a timely and responsible manner, when it is deemed safe to do so. Tourism is a lifeline to millions, especially in the developing world. Opening the world up to tourism again will save jobs, protect livelihoods and enable our sector to resume its vital role in driving sustainable development.”

Breaking the research down by region, UNWTO found that 83% of destinations in Europe have introduced complete closure of borders for international tourism. In the Americas, this proportion stands at 80%, in Asia and the Pacific it is 70%, in the Middle East it is 62% and in Africa it is 57%.

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