Photo Credits: Shifaaz Shamoon
The world is gradually opening up again, with destinations cautiously easing travel restrictions introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has launched the global guidelines to restart tourism on 28th May 2020. According to the agency, this signals a transition into motion with a stronger rate of recovery and 3% of the global destinations have already taken steps to ease travel restrictions.
UNWTO has been monitoring the global effects and response to the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic. The fourth edition of its report released last Sunday, which looked at the measures of 217 destinations worldwide as of May 18th, shows that 7 destinations have eased travel restrictions for international tourism purposes. In the meantime, many more destinations are in discussion to re-open their borders for safe tourism.
The reports highlight that all the worldwide destinations will be continuing with some form of COVID related travel restrictions in place. As of May 18, 75% of the destinations have closed their borders completely for international tourism, with 37% of all cases having travel restrictions in place for 10 weeks, while 24% of global destinations have had restrictions in place for 14 weeks or more.
All UNWTO regions have more than 65% of their destinations completely closed to tourism: Africa (74%), Americas (86%), Asia and the Pacific (67%), Europe (74%), and the Middle East (69%).
According to UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab, the gradual responsible ease of travel restrictions will ensure social and economic benefits that will guarantee a sustainable tourism return, with a contribution to the livelihoods of many millions of people around the world. He further added that as the tourism sector is the driver of sustainable development and pillar of economies, it is important to be vigilant, responsible, and requires international cooperation for the world to restart post-pandemic.
While tourism has been the hardest hit of all the world’s major economic sectors, Mr. Pololikashvili welcomes the growing confidence in the global tourism sector, noted that it stands ready to return to growth.
UNWTO has led a joint response of which outlines the steps governments and the private sector can take to accelerate recovery in the months ahead.