According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 40% of all destinations worldwide have now eased the restrictions they placed on international tourism in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report confirms the trend of a slow but continuous adaptation and responsible restart of international tourism. Of the 87 destinations that have now eased travel restrictions, just four have completely lifted all restrictions, while 83 have eased them while keeping some measures in place, such as the partial closure of borders. In addition, 115 destinations, representing 53% of all destinations worldwide, continue to keep their borders completely closed to tourists.

Visitors and boats in the canals of Murano Island
Half of the destinations that have eased restrictions are in Europe © Yasonya/Shutterstock

The report says that destinations with a higher dependency on tourism for employment, economic growth and development are more likely to be easing restrictions on travel. Around half (41) of the destinations that have eased restrictions are in Europe. Looking at the 115 destinations that continue to have their borders completely closed to international tourism, the report finds that a majority (88) have been completely closed their borders for international tourism for more than 12 weeks.

Place des Vosges, the old square in Paris, France
A report says the restart of tourism can be undertaken responsibly © MarinaD_37/

“The restart of tourism can be undertaken responsibly and in a way that safeguards public health while also supporting businesses and livelihoods," says UNWTO secretary-general, Zurab Pololikashvili. "As destinations continue to ease restrictions on travel, international cooperation is of paramount importance. This way, global tourism can gain people’s trust and confidence, essential foundations as we work together to adapt to the new reality we now face.” To read the full UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report, please see here.

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