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UNWTO: As 100 Percent of Countries Impose Restrictions on Travel

COVID-19 has placed the whole world on lockdown, with new research from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) showing that 100 percent of global destinations continue to have restrictions on travel in place, and 72 percent have completely closed their borders to international tourism.

 From the start of the crisis, the United Nations specialised agency for tourism has been tracking responses to the pandemic. This latest research shows that while discussions on possible first measures for lifting restrictions are underway, 100 percent of destinations worldwide still have COVID-19 related travel restrictions for international tourists in place.

Out of all 217 destinations worldwide, 156 (72 percent) have placed a complete stop on international tourism according to the data collected as of April 27, 2020.

In 25 percent of destinations, restrictions have been in place for at least three months, while in 40 percent of destinations, restrictions were introduced at least two months ago. Most importantly, the research also found that no destination has so far lifted or eased travel restrictions.

 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, Zurab Pololikashvili,  secretary-general, UNWTO, said, “Tourism has been the hardest hit of all the major sectors as countries lockdown and people stay at home. 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.”