Forty percent of all destinations worldwide have now eased the travel restrictions they placed on international tourism in response to coronavirus (Covid-19), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said on Thursday.
According to the UNWTO, the latest outlook, recorded on July 19, is up from 22 percent of destinations that had eased restrictions on travel by June 15 and the 3 percent previously observed by May 15.
“It confirms the trend of a slow but continuous adaptation and responsible restart of international tourism,” the United Nations specialized agency for tourism said.
However, as the UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report points out, of the 87 destinations that have now eased travel restrictions, just four have completely lifted them, while 83 have eased them and kept some measures such as the partial closure of borders in place.
Moreover, the report said that destinations with a higher dependency on tourism are more likely to be easing restrictions on travel. Of the 87 destinations that have eased restrictions recently, 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 shows that around half (41) of all those destinations that have eased restrictions are in Europe, confirming the leading role of the region for the responsible restart of tourism.
Many destinations still in long-term lockdown
The latest edition of the UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report in addition shows that 115 destinations (53 percent of all destinations worldwide) continue to keep their borders completely closed for tourism.
The UNWTO recently released data on the impact of the pandemic on tourism, both in terms of lost tourist arrivals and lost revenues. The data shows that by already by the end of May, the pandemic had led to US$320 billion in lost revenues, already three times the cost of the 2009 Global Economic Crisis.
The full UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report can be found here.