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156 destinations have closed borders to international tourism: UNWTO

New research from the World Tourism Organization shows that 100 per cent of global destinations continue to have restrictions on travel in place, and 72 per cent have completely closed their borders to international tourism.

This latest research shows that while discussions on possible first measures for lifting restrictions are underway, 100 per cent of destinations worldwide still have COVID19 related travel restrictions for international tourists in place. Out of all 217 destinations worldwide, 156 (72 per cent) have placed a complete stop on international tourism according to the data collected as of April 27, 2020.

In 25 per cent of destinations, restrictions have been in place for at least three months, while in 40 per cent of destinations, restrictions were introduced at least two months ago.

Breaking the research down by region, the UNWTO found that 83 per cent of destinations in Europe have introduced complete closure of borders for international tourism. In the Americas, this proportion stands at 80 per cent, in Asia and the Pacific it is 70 per cent, in the Middle East it is 62 per cent and in Africa it is 57 per cent. Most importantly, the research also found that no destination has so far lifted or eased travel restrictions.

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.”

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