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UNWTO Reveals How the Pandemic Affected International Travel

News It is not a secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit global tourism badly, and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) once again proved this. According to the recently published data, international tourist arrivals between January and May 2021 were 85% below the results of 2019 and 65% below the results of 2020. It is safe to say that this is the biggest crisis that world tourism has ever seen in its history, and the industry has to stay in such a state for the second year.

Although there was some recovery in May, international tourism is much under pressure of the continued COVID-19 spread. There are still travel restrictions for foreign guests in most countries but domestic tourism starts to rebound slowly. Even hotels in London, Bangkok, Paris, and other gateway cities suffer from a drastic decline in visitors. As UNWTO reports, the number of overnight international arrivals in January to May decreased by 147 million compared to the same period of 2020 and by a whopping 460 million compared to the same period of 2019. That being said, there is slow growth in arrivals – the decline was 86% in April 2021 versus April 2019 and 83% in May 2021 versus May 2019.

As countries slowly lift restrictions or let fully vaccinated travelers enter, hotels and other tourist-related businesses become slightly optimistic. Moreover, consumer confidence is rising, and more people want to travel again.

When it comes to regional data, Asia and the Pacific had the biggest decline in arrivals (a drop of 95%) during the first five months of 2021 compared to 2019. Europe had the second-biggest decline in arrivals (a drop of 85%), and the Middle East and Africa scored third and fourth with declines of 83% and 81% respectively. The Americas had the lowest decrease among all regions (-72%).

What can international tourism expect in the coming months? The future is still unclear, and the chance of recovery is fragile at the moment. The Delta variant of the virus was responsible for outbreaks of the disease and made several countries reimpose travel restrictions. Vaccination programs around the world and eased requirements for vaccinated travelers, as well as digital tools like the EU Digital COVID Certificate give us hope that it will become normal again to travel abroad in the coming months.

28.07.2021

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Individual City Guides

Chisinau
Chisinau travel guide
First mentions of this city appeared in 1466. For a long time Chisinau has been a boyar patrimony. Today this is a large historical and cultural center. For convenience the city is divided into Low and High. You can see ancient buildings built in medieval times in Low Chisinau, while High Chisinau is considered the business center of the city. Each year new modern buildings appear here. Probably, Organ Hall and National Drama Theater located opposite to it are main cultural sights of the … Read further
Menton
Cuisine of Menton
Italy has profoundly influenced culinary traditions of Menton. During the tour over historical part of the city travelers will come across numerous cozy bistros. The best one among them is considered to be the Le Chaudron bistro offering its visitors the most popular ethnic dishes. The specialities of the eating house are considered to be different sea foods. Expert cooks prepare grilled fish and serve it with fantastic accompaniments. The visitors will love fluffy desserts and the wine list of … Read further
Alkmaar
Traditions and festivals in Alkmaar
The city of Alkmaar welcomes guests with a decent choice of destinations and traditional cordiality. Prepare yourself for a variety of pleasant surprises and multifaceted experiences from this stunning destination. Alkmaar consists of stair-step bridges, canals, ancient paved bridges, gabled roofs, crowned Gothic cathedrals, narrow streets, which suddenly end in historical squares, and the atmosphere of an ancient place typical for the old-fashioned towns of the Netherlands. But the real heart … Read further
Saarbrucken
Saarbrucken cultural sights
The Saint Johannes Market is considered to be a true center of city life as this area concentrates numerous restaurants, shops and entertainment establishments. Scenic age old streets start right from the market. Most of them are completely closed for transport. Not far from the Saint Johannes Market tourists will discover Der Schlosskirche – the Palace Church being a marvelous landmark of gothic style architecture. The church was built in the 15th century. Though its long history the church … Read further
Groningen
Groningen attractions and entertainment
Groningen concentrates many canals that give it an extraordinary beauty. People might want to stay here forever, and it must be said that sometimes it turns out that way. Tourists falling for narrow streets ideal for cycling, beautiful houses, as if enveloping city streets and amazingly picturesque embankments, decide to stay here for the rest of their lives. However, the city is attractive not only for this - thus, active recreation enthusiasts feel great here, being offered all sorts of … Read further
Denpasar
Denpasar for families and kids
The main entertainment for guests of the popular Balinese resort is a beach relaxation and walks in picturesque places. Nevertheless, you can diversify leisure with children in Denpasar, with other interesting events. With older children, you can go to the Bali Wake Park. This is a kind of marine entertainment park located right on the picturesque coast. It differs from the usual centers of water sports in that, its visitors are offered a lot of unusual entertainment. There are special training … Read further
Luanda
Shopping in Luanda
The largest shopping and entertainment center in town is Belas Shopping where you can not only buy new clothes and souvenirs but also have fun. This shopping center attracts travelers with a variety of inexpensive shops and boutiques selling beautiful beach outfits and accessories, casual clothes and shoes of world-famous manufacturers. Several large shopping pavilions offer nice souvenirs. After shopping, visitors to the center can relax at one of the cozy cafes or go to the cinema. No … Read further
Bern
Extreme and fun in Bern
Ropetech Ropes Course. Ropetech Ropes Course is located near the Bern railway station, namely in the forest Dalhoelzli. You can reach it by trams № 7 and № 8 or by buses № 19 and № 28. You should get off at the "Thunplatz" stop. If you like outdoor activities, then adventure and fun are waiting for you here. The ticket price is 38 francs. The park is a complex consisting of 7 crossings. Their height is from 4 to 23 meters above the ground. You will choose the appropriate level of … Read further
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