If you are interested in learning how global tourism is faring under the COVID-19 pandemic, new research by the World Tourism Organization paints a clear picture of how things stand at present.
The research by the United Nations' specialised agency for tourism indicates that while discussions on possible first measures for lifting restrictions are underway, 100% of 217 global destinations continue to have restrictions on travel in place. In addition, 156, or 72%, have completely closed their borders to international tourism. Restrictions have been in place for at least three months in 25% of destinations, while restrictions were introduced in 40% at least two months ago. The research also found that no destination has so far lifted or eased travel restrictions.
UNWTO found that 83% of destinations in Europe have introduced a complete closure of borders for international tourism. In the Americas, this proportion stands at 80%, in Asia and the Pacific it's 70%, in the Middle East it is 62%, and in Africa it's 57%. UNWTO has been working closely with international organisations, national governments and the private sector to support the responsible and timely recovery of tourism. UNWTO secretary-general, Zurab Pololikashvili, recently addressed ministers of the G20 and the EU Commission, making the case for tourism to be made a priority as countries look to recover from the crisis.
“Tourism has been the hardest hit of all the major sectors as countries lockdown and people stay at home," he says. "UNWTO calls on governments to work together to coordinate the easing and lifting of restrictions in a timely and responsible manner, when it is deemed safe to do so. Tourism is a lifeline to millions, especially in the developing world. Opening the world up to tourism again will save jobs, protect livelihoods and enable our sector to resume its vital role in driving sustainable development.”