World slowly starts to reopen for travel

Countries are slowly beginning to unwind Covid-19 travel restrictions as “the world slowly opens up again”.

The latest report by the World Tourism Organization found that 3 per cent of all destinations have taken steps to ease restrictions. Seven destinations have eased restrictions for international tourism purposes, while several more are engaged in discussions on the reopening of borders.

While all destinations globally continue to have some travel restrictions in place, three quarters (75 per cent) are still completely closed to international tourism. In 37 per cent of all cases, restrictions have been in place for 10 weeks, while 24 per cent have had controls in place for 14 weeks or more.

“The timely and responsible easing of travel restrictions will help ensure the many social and economic benefits that tourism guarantees will return in a sustainable way,” said Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

The research also found that the more important tourism is to individual economies, the more likely it is that countries have responded with complete border closures.

The report follows last week’s release of UNWTO’s Global Guidelines to Restart Tourism.

“These guidelines provide both Governments and businesses with a comprehensive set of measures designed to help them open tourism up again in a safe, seamless and responsible manner,” Pololikashvili said.