More than half of all destinations have eased travel restrictions since July, reveals UN

Published: 15 September 2020 - 4:30 a.m.
By: Josh Corder
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has revealed that 53 percent of its global destinations have eased COVID-19 travel restrictions since July this year, translating to 115 destinations.

Five are in the Middle East, compared to 44 in Europe, 27 in the Americas, 26 in Africa and 13 in Asia.

Relieved by the news, the UN offshoot said the figures point towards the recovery of the tourism sector. UNWTO secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili, said: “Coordinated leadership and enhanced cooperation between governments means tourism is slowly but steadily restarting in many parts of the world.

“Starting to ease restrictions on travel opens also the doors for social and economic benefits of tourism to return.

“While we must remain vigilant and cautious, we are concerned about those destinations with ongoing full travel restrictions, especially where tourism is a lifeline and economic and social development are under threat.”

Of the 115 destinations, two have completely lifted travel restrictions.

However, 43 percent of all destinations worldwide still have their borders completely closed, translating to 93 destinations.

Looking at available data, UNWTO found a direct correlation between the quality of a country’s health and hygiene infrastructure and whether or not it had relaxed travel rules. It was found that better hygiene infrastructure means a destination is more likely to reopen. Meanwhile, countries with poor hygiene infrastructure often remain closed.

You can read the full report here.

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