According to the figures from the latest edition of the Travel Restrictions Report from the United Nations, it has been shown that since June 1, 29% of destinations all over the world have their borders entirely closed for international tourism.
Of these destinations, more than half of them have been completely closed to tourist arrivals since May 2020 or longer, with the majority of countries belonging to the Small Island Development States of Asia and the Pacific.
Governments are instrumental for the restart and recovery of tourism through collaboration, use of data, and digital solutionsZurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of UNWTO
One in three of all destinations, or more precisely 34 percent, are currently partially closed, and 36 percent of them require the tourists to present a negative Covid-19 test result upon their arrival, in some cases along with a quarantine requirement.
“The data confirms the trend towards destinations adopting more nuanced, evidence-and-risk-based approaches to restrictions on travel, particularly in light of the evolving epidemiological situation and the emergence of new variants of the virus,” the World Tourism Organization statement reads.
In addition, 42% of all destinations have introduced distinct restrictions for travelers arriving from countries where the Covid-19 variants have widely spread by suspending flights, closing the borders, or imposing compulsory quarantine requirements.
Since most destinations that keep strict measures have the lowest vaccination rates, UNWTO noted that the data suggests a link between easing of restrictions and vaccination speed.
In contrast, destinations that have higher vaccination rates and countries that can work together on harmonized protocols and rules, such as those utilized in the Schengen Area, are better placed to allow tourism to return gradually.
Additionally, the report revealed that regional differences related to travel restrictions remain, more accurately, as follows:
- 70 percent of destinations in Asia and the Pacific are entirely closed
- 13 percent of destinations in Europe are entirely closed
- 20 percent of destinations in the Americas are entirely closed
- 19 percent of destinations in Africa are entirely closed
- 31 percent of destinations in the Middle East are entirely closed
When it comes to assessing the requirements for persons who have been fully vaccinated, 17% of all destinations explicitly mention vaccinated travelers in their regulations.
As such, the report suggests that the restart of global tourism will remain muted as long as the governments continue to advise travel warnings.