Nonetheless, note a continued trend toward greater openness
96% of the world’s tourist destinations have introduced some form of travel restriction following the spread of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide, which has caused around 90 destinations to have closed all or part of their borders to the tourists and another 40 are closed to certain tourists, depending on the country of origin.
This is clear from a report by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which, as a specialized agency of the United Nations, has regularly monitored progress in facilitating travel and has already observed a continued trend towards greater openness.
The study shows that different regions of the world have had similar responses to Covid-19. In Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East, 100% of destinations have imposed restrictions since January 2020. In America, 92% of destinations have adopted similar measures, while in Europe the proportion is 93%.
The analysis identifies four types of key restrictive measures, such as the complete or partial closure of borders to tourists, travel restrictions depending on destinations, total or partial suspension of flights and other measures such as quarantine or self-confinement requirements, medical certificate, invalidation or suspension of visa issues, among others.
MILLION JOBS AT STAKE
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says that this pandemic has affected travel and tourism «like no other event in history.» Therefore, he warns that «millions of jobs could be lost» and that the progress achieved in the fields of equality and sustainable economic growth «could be reversed.»
In this sense, the organization, in its third crisis committee meeting, urged its members to increase pressure on world leaders to reconsider their tourism and employment policies and help to ensure the survival of companies to drive recovery efforts on a larger scale.
«This crisis has demonstrated the strength of solidarity across borders. But good words and gestures will not protect jobs or help the millions of people whose lives depend on the strength of the tourism sector. Governments have an opportunity to recognize the unique capacity of tourism not only to create jobs, but also to promote equality and inclusivity, «concludes Pololikashvili.