A global gap is emerging despite 70 pc destinations lifting their travel restrictions, says UNWTO study

2020-12-04
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/ Digital Desk
The number of destinations closed to international tourism has continued to fall across the globe. According to the eighth edition of the UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report, 70 pc of 217 global destinations have eased restrictions on travel introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, while about 25 pc of the destinations continue to keep their borders completely closed to international tourists.
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As of November 1, a total of 152 destinations had eased restrictions on international tourism as against 115 on September 1. At the same time, 59 destinations have kept their borders closed to tourists, a decrease of 34 over the same two-month period.“Lifting of travel restrictions is essential to drive our wider recovery from the social and economic impacts of the pandemic. Governments have an important part to play in giving data-led and responsible travel advice and in working together to lift restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so,” says UNWTO secretary-general ZurabPololikashvili.

The study found that destinations with higher scores in health and hygiene indicators as well as on the environmental performance index are among those which have eased restrictions faster. Moreover, these destinations are increasingly applying differentiated, risk-based approaches to implementing travel restrictions.

In comparison, destinations choosing to keep their borders closed tend to be within emerging economies with relatively low scores in health and hygiene indicators and environmental performance index. The majority of these destinations are in Asia and the Pacific, with many belonging to the SIDS (Small Island Developing States), LDCs (Least Developed Countries) or LLDCs (Landlocked Developing Countries). Europe continues to lead the way in lifting or easing travel restrictions followed by the Americas, Africa and then the Middle East.

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