Around 90 tourist destinations in the world have closed all or part of their borders to tourists due to the covid-19 pandemic, while 40 are closed to certain travelers, depending on the country of origin, according to a study by the World Organization of the Tourism (OMT).
From the report, published while the tourism sector is suffering “an unprecedented shock”, it appears that practically all destinations in the world have imposed travel restrictions since January 2020, in many cases, completely prohibiting them, in order to contain the pandemic.
As of April 6, 96% of the world’s tourist destinations had introduced travel restrictions in response to the global health crisis.
The study shows that different regions of the world have had similar responses to the pandemic, imposing restrictions on 100% of destinations in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and the Middle East.
In America, 92% of destinations have adopted similar measures, while in Europe the proportion has been 93% (as of April 6).
The report identifies four types of key restrictive measures: complete or partial closure of borders to tourists; travel restrictions, depending on destinations (passengers who have stopped or have been in x cannot enter x); total or partial suspension of flights, or measures such as some quarantine or self-confinement requirements, medical certificate, invalidation or suspension of visa issues, among others.
However, the degree of response evolves and, in many cases, some destinations have already adjusted their restrictive measures, depending on how the situation has progressed.
In recent years, as a specialized agency of the United Nations, UNWTO has regularly monitored progress in facilitating travel and has observed “a continuing trend towards greater openness”, which Covid-19 has discontinued from “abrupt” form.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili has noted that the coronavirus has affected travel and tourism “like no other event in history”, after governments, putting public health first, have introduced full restrictions o partial to travel.
With tourism suspended, the benefits generated by the sector are threatened, potentially losing millions of jobs, and reversing the progress made in the areas of equality and sustainable economic growth.
For this reason, UNWTO has urged governments to continuously review travel restrictions and to relax or lift them, as soon as it can be done safely.
On the other hand, UNWTO held this Thursday the third meeting of the world crisis committee created by the organization with the aim of evaluating and proposing recommendations as the situation generated by the pandemic evolves.
The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, participated in the telematic meeting held today, the UNWTO reported on his twitter account.