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European Countries are the Fastest to Ease Travel Restrictions

News The COVID-19 pandemic made many countries around the world close their borders and stop accepting international guests. As the situation shows signs of improvement, many countries start lifting these travel restrictions, and Europe leads the way here. This information was provided by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

To prepare the report, UNWTO studied all destinations worldwide. It turns out that 48 destinations or 22% of all destinations already have eased travel restrictions. Europe is the leader in this area. On the other hand, 65% of all destinations or 141 destinations still keep their borders completely closed. In the fifth edition of “COVID-19 Related Travel Restrictions: A Global Review for Tourism” report, UNWTO once again states that the sector shows signs of recovery but it is too early to say about the full recovery of tourism. The restart may be delayed in some regions.

Countries face a significant challenge when it comes to tourism. They must stop the spread of the disease but the restart of tourism is particularly important because this industry provides millions of people with jobs and is a major contributor to the national budgets. UNWTO underlines that tourism can be a powerful driver that will help economies to recover but the crisis is not over, so all new steps must be taken carefully.

More and more destinations around the world lift travel bans. If only 3% (7 destinations) had eased restrictions on 18 May, the number of these destinations grew to 22% (48 destinations) on 15 June. If you live in the European Union, you can safely book a hotel in Rome, Prague, or choose a Madrid hotel and enjoy a vacation right away because 24 of the 26 Schengen Member States have eased travel restrictions.

In the Americas, only 6 destinations do not have travel bans, and 5 of them are Small Island Developing States. Only 3 destinations in Asia and the Pacific and 2 destinations in Africa have eased travel restrictions. When analyzing full border closures, the situation is roughly the same. The Middle East has 92% of its borders closed. In Africa, 85% of borders are currently closed for tourists, followed by 76% fully closed borders in the Americas. Asia and the Pacific have 67% of borders closed, and only 26% of European borders are fully closed at the moment.


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