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Global Destinations Keep Easing Travel Restrictions

News In its latest announcement, the World Tourism Organization (WTO) reported that more than half of all destinations around the world have at least somehow eased their travel restrictions. The newest issue of “COVID-19 Related Travel Restrictions: A Global Review for Tourism” prepared by WTO proves that countries start gradually allowing tourism at least in some forms.

It can be too early to start booking hotels in London, Bangkok, or hurry to reserve a room at a Madrid hotel for citizens of certain countries but as of September 1, 53% of all global destinations (115 destinations) have made their travel restrictions easier. This is 28 destinations more than on July 19 (the date of the previous issue of the report). Two destinations out of these 115 have completely lifted all restrictions, and the remaining 113 still have some limitations.

WTO underlines that everyone must stay cautious as the pandemic is not over yet, but the organization is concerned about countries with the full travel ban as tourism is crucially important for the healthy recovery of the economies. Cooperation between different countries can help to resume tourism to a certain extent, enabling social and economic benefits.

This issue of the report also includes information on the health and hygiene infrastructure in different destinations. It turns out that destinations with high or very high health and hygiene infrastructure allow travel or have eased travel restrictions. More than three-fourths of destinations with advanced economies (79%) have eased travel restrictions. The number of destinations with emerging economies who did the same is significantly smaller – only 47%.

That being said, there are still many destinations that keep their borders closed completely and do not allow any tourism at all. These are 93 destinations or 43% of all destinations around the world. 27 destinations out of them have been completely closed for 30 weeks or more. Many of these destinations are the World’s Most Vulnerable Countries, including 10 Small Island Developing States, 3 Land-Locked Developing Countries, and 1 Least Developed Country. For these destinations, travel could provide much needed economic help. WTO underlines that if the situation worsens, there might be new restrictions imposed but countries become more cooperative and develop more tailored and varied restrictions for different visitors and specific countries.


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