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Borders slowly openly to restart tourism - UNWTO

As the responsible restart of tourism begins around the world with a lot of destinations easing Covid-19 related travel restrictions and embrace the 'new normal', United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has presented some key facts.

UNWTO has been monitoring the global response to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. From the agency's analysis, some 40 per cent of all destinations worldwide have eased the restrictions they placed on international tourism in response to the outbreak. 

As of 19 July 2020

• Out of the 87 destinations that have eased travel restrictions the following key observations are made:

o 4 destinations have completely lifted all COVID-19 related travel restrictions, while the remaining 83 destinations keep having restrictive measures in place, in particular partial closure of borders

o 41 destinations are located in Europe 

o 20 destinations are Small Island

. 115 destinations (53% of all destinations worldwide) continue to have their borders completely closed for international tourism.

. 87 destinations (40% of all destinations worldwide) have now eased COVID- 19 related measures in place for international tourism.

• From a regional point of view, the destinations that have eased travel restrictions are:

o 41 destinations in Europe, including all 26 Schengen Member States

o 20 destinations in the Americas, out of which 15 are Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

o 13 destinations in Africa

o 10 destinations in Asia and the Pacific, including 4 SIDS

o 3 destinations in the Middle East.

• From a regional point of view, the destinations that apply complete closure of borders are:

o 37 destinations in Africa (70% of all destinations in Africa)

o 29 destinations in Asia and the Pacific (63% of all destinations in Asia)

o 28 destinations in the Americas (55% of all destinations in the Americas)

o 11 destinations in Europe (20% of all destinations in Europe)

o 10 destinations in the Middle East (77% of all destinations in Middle East)

  • Replacing complete border closure by less restrictive measures is observed mainly in destinations with higher dependence on tourism, while destinations with lower dependence on tourism tend to maintain their borders closed.

  • 51 destinations (24% of destinations worldwide) have travel restrictions already in place for 23 weeks and 80 destinations (37% of destinations worldwide) for 19 weeks.

The 87 destinations that have eased COVID-19 related travel restrictions for international tourism represent an increase of 39 destinations (from 22% to 40%) since 15 June 2020 and an increase of 80 destinations (from 3% to 40%) since 18 May 2020.

Out of the 115 destinations with complete border closure for international tourism, 88 destinations have their borders completely closed for more than 12 weeks. The peak was observed on 18 of May 2020 when a total of 163 destinations (75% of all destinations worldwide) had their borders closed.

The following categories of COVID-19 related travel restrictions are being applied across destinations worldwide (total destinations are 217):

Complete or partial closure of borders:

181 destinations (83%) have completely or partially closed their borders (decrease from 189 destinations on 15 June 2020).

- Out of these, 115 destinations have completely closed their borders

- The remaining 66 destinations have partially closed their borders.

Suspension of flights:

3 destinations (1%) have suspended completely or partially international flights.

Destination-specific travel restriction: 7 destinations (3%) are implementing the closing of borders in a more differentiated manner by banning the entry for passengers from specific countries of origin.

o Different measures:

The remaining 22 destinations (11%) are applying different measures, in particular the request for medical certificates and/or health self- declarations before or after arrival in a destination, including the provision of relevant information to facilitate tracing. It also includes measures such as quarantine or self-isolation, as well as visa measures.

Source: gh-aviation