Sunday, March 7, 2021

Most of world gradually reopening to tourism, says UN agency

Just over half of all worldwide destinations worldwide are now easing restrictions while 43% remain completely closed to tourism.

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The majority of tourist destinations around the world have started easing travel restrictions introduced earlier in the year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

New research from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reports that as of Sept 1, a total of 115 destinations have eased travel restrictions.

Of these, two have lifted all restrictions, while the remaining 113 continue to have some restrictive measures in place.

A total of 93 destinations continue to have their borders completely closed to tourism, of which 27 have had their borders completely closed for at least 30 weeks.

That means 53% of all worldwide destinations worldwide are now easing restrictions while 43% remain completely closed to tourism.

UNWTO findings also indicate that 79% of advanced economies have reopened to some extent, while in emerging economies, just 47% have done so.

Though many remain cautious in view of the latest upticks in the pandemic, and reported second waves appearing, UNWTO confirms the ongoing trend is towards the gradual restart of tourism.

At the same time, the report shows that many destinations around the world are extremely cautious about easing the travel restrictions they introduced.

Many countries passed and are sticking with severe measures in an attempt to keep their citizens safe.

UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Coordinated leadership and enhanced cooperation between governments means tourism is slowly but steadily restarting in many parts of the world.

“Starting to ease restrictions on travel also opens the doors for the social and economic benefits of tourism 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 and economic and social development are under threat.”

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