Restrictions on travel, introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, are slowly being eased, allowing tourism to restart in a growing number of destinations.
The latest research by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) shows that 22 per cent of all destinations worldwide (48 destinations) have started to ease restrictions, with Europe leading the way.
At the same time, however, 65 per cent of all destinations worldwide (141 destinations) continue to have their borders completely closed to international tourism.
As the United Nations specialised agency for tourism, UNWTO has been monitoring responses to the pandemic since the start of the current crisis.
This latest update, the fifth edition of Covid-19 Related Travel Restrictions: A Global Review for Tourism, shows that the sector is slowly restarting, though this restart is significantly more pronounced in some global regions.
UNWTO secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili, said: “The restart of tourism is of vital importance – for livelihoods, for businesses and for national economies.
“This latest overview of global travel restrictions shows that growing numbers of destinations are beginning to ease the restrictions they introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is being done in a responsible and measured way.
“However, this crisis is not over.
“UNWTO will continue to work with our member states around the world to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and to ensure that, when the time is right, tourism can help drive a responsible and sustainable recovery.”
According to UNWTO, as of June 15th, 22 per cent of all destinations (48 destinations) have now eased restrictions on travel, up from just seven destinations on May 18th.
Destinations that have eased travel restrictions for tourists include 37 destinations in Europe (including 24 of the 26 Schengen member states) and six destinations in the Americas, including five small island developing states.
At the same time, the Covid-19 related travel restrictions report makes clear that many destinations are maintaining a cautious approach to lifting or easing restrictions on travel.