Canada Association of Tourism Employees

How the UN needs the World to reopen for tourism?

Tourism remains closed in at least 30% of all known tourist destinations. The UNWTO wants travel to restart in a safe and responsible manner

  1. A third of the world is closed to tourism
  2. Goals get frustrated and open up. Is that a smart move?
  3. The UNWTO’s response to COVID is another report

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has broken up with many global tourism organizations, including the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), but sometimes issues statements. Here is a statement released today.

More than half of the destinations that are currently no longer permitted have not been accessible to overseas travelers since April 27th last year.

In addition, most of the former tourist attractions affected are located in Asia, the Pacific and Europe, according to the UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report.

On the other side of the coin, more than a third of the world’s tourism destinations are partially open to international visitors. Albania, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, North Macedonia and Tanzania are lifting all COVID-19-related travel restrictions.

“Safe and Responsible”

Noting that travel restrictions are widely used to limit the spread of the virus, Zurab Polilikashvili, UNWTO Secretary General, said, “If we are working to resume tourism, we need to recognize that restrictions are only part of the solution. ”

He also underlined that travel restrictions must be based on the latest data and analysis and must be rigorously reviewed “in order to enable the safe and responsible restart of a sector on which many millions of companies and jobs depend”.

Testing and quarantine

The report shows a growing trend among international travel destinations that are adopting “a more nuanced, evidence and risk-based approach” to travel restrictions related to coronavirus, the UN agency said in its press release on the report.

In more countries, tourists are required to present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or COVID-19 antigen test for entry and provide contact details for traceability purposes.

Slightly more than 30 percent of all travel destinations worldwide have made submitting negative test results their primary requirement for entry. The same proportion makes testing a secondary or tertiary measure.

So far, 70 world destinations have chosen such an approach with additional quarantine requirements. Around a third of these destinations are Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in America.

Remain cautious

According to the UNWTO, many governments have advised their citizens to avoid unnecessary travel abroad, including the top ten governments that have adopted this policy and received 44% of all international tourists worldwide, according to March 2018 data.

How they review policies in light of the pandemic will play a critical role in resuming and restoring global tourist flows in the coming months, the report said.

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