According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted every world destination to introduce restrictions on travel. A research report outlines just how severe the pandemic situation has restricted international travel.
The reports follows-up on previous research, adding the latest data from the United Nations specialized agency for tourism. The data shows that 100% of world destinations now have restrictions in place. Of these, 83% have had COVID-19-related restrictions in place for four or more weeks, and, as of 20 April, so far no destination has lifted them. UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili offered this:
“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.”
In addition to an overview, the UNWTO research broke 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 – when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
The latest analysis reveals the following points on 217 destinations worldwide:
- 45% have totally or partially closed their borders for tourists – “Passengers are not allowed to enter”
- 30% have suspended totally or partially international flights – “all flights are suspended”
- 18% are banning the entry for passengers from specific countries of origin or passengers who have transited through specific destinations
- 7% are applying different measures, such as quarantine or self-isolation for 14 days and visa measures.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has said that the situation has grown more destructive over the past four weeks. They warn of the 100.8 million jobs now at risk and almost 75 million of them in G20 countries.
The UNWTO is responding to governments worldwide calling for a commitment to support tourism in the midst of this unprecedented challenge. Secretary-General Pololikashvili has said, the sudden and unexpected fall in tourism demand caused by COVID-19 places millions of jobs and livelihoods at risk. He went on to point out how COVID-19 is jeopardizing the advances made in sustainable development and equality over recent years.