Tourism is restarting worldwide, says the WTO, with 40% of destinations now easing travel restrictions amid a pandemic that has resulted in more than £ 245 billion in lost revenue
- UNWTO says 87 destinations have eased international travel restrictions
- However, only four of these locations have lifted all restrictions completely
- It also found a total of 115 destinations still closed to international tourism
The ‘responsible restart of tourism is underway around the world’, according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), with 40% of all destinations now having the most flexible restrictions imposed on international tourism in response to the pandemic.
UNTWO has been monitoring global responses to coronavirus since the beginning of the crisis, which has resulted in lost revenues of more than £ 245 billion.
Its most recent outlook, recorded on July 19, is over 22% of destinations that reduced travel restrictions on June 15 and the 3% previously observed on May 15.
According to the World Tourism Organization, 40% of destinations worldwide have reduced restrictions on international tourism in response to the pandemic. In the photo, tourists on the beach at Playa de Las Americas, Tenerife, on July 28
The WTO says it “confirms the trend towards slow but continuous adaptation and a responsible resumption of international tourism”.
However, at the same time, the organization points out that of the 87 destinations that have now reduced travel restrictions, only four have completely lifted all restrictions, while 83 have eased them, maintaining some measures, such as partial closure of borders.
According to the WTO’s Travel Restrictions Report, destinations that are more dependent on tourism are more likely to be easing travel restrictions.
Of the 87 destinations that have recently eased restrictions, 20 are small island developing states (Sids), many of which depend on “tourism as a central pillar of employment, economic growth and development”.
The report also reveals that about half (41) of all destinations that eased the restrictions are in Europe, which the WTO says confirms the region’s leading role in the responsible restart of tourism.
However, the report also shows that 115 destinations (53% of all destinations in the world) continue to keep their borders completely closed to tourism.
Looking at these destinations, the report finds that the majority (88) have kept their borders completely closed to international tourism for more than 12 weeks.
Meanwhile, the WTO says that the cost related to travel restrictions introduced in response to Covid-19 has “historical dimensions”.
The WTO says that there is a “trend towards slow but continuous adaptation and a responsible resumption of international tourism”. In the photo, the Heathrow International Arrivals Hall, on July 29
This week, it released data on the impact of the pandemic on tourism, both in terms of lost tourist arrivals and revenue.
The data shows that, by the end of May, the pandemic had led to $ 320 billion (£ 245 billion) in lost revenue – three times the cost of the 2009 global economic crisis.
WTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: ‘Restarting tourism can be carried out responsibly and in a way that safeguards public health and, at the same time, supports businesses and livelihoods.
As destinations continue to reduce travel restrictions, international cooperation is of paramount importance.
“In this way, global tourism can gain people’s trust and confidence, essential foundations as we work together to adapt to the new reality that we face now.”