Currently, nearly a third of destinations worldwide are completely closed to international tourists due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations tourism agency said on Monday.
Governments initially began easing travel restrictions last year, but reversed the trend after new virus strains appeared and because of the “persistent severity of the epidemiological situation,” the World Tourism Organization said. OMT) based in Madrid in a report.
At the beginning of February, 69 destinations out of 217 worldwide, or 32 percent, were completely closed to international tourism, including 30 in Asia and the Pacific, 15 in Europe and 11 in Africa.
This is lower than the May 2020 high, when 75% of destinations worldwide were completely closed, but increased compared to November, when it closed at 27%.
The UN body said there was a trend towards a “more nuanced, evidence-based and risk-based approach” to travel restrictions, such as requiring international tourists to submit a negative test to the ‘arrival.
About a third of the world’s destinations now have the presentation of a negative proof of arrival as the main entry requirement, often combined with quarantine.
“Travel restrictions have been widely used to restrict the spread of the virus. Now, as we work to restart tourism, we must recognize that restrictions are only part of the solution,” said Zurab Polilikashvili, head of the OMT, in a statement.
International tourist arrivals fell by a billion, or 74 percent, by 2020, according to the UNWTO, which called it “the worst year in tourism history.”
The pandemic cost the global tourism industry $ 1.3 trillion in lost revenue last year, more than 11 times the loss recorded during the 2009 global financial crisis.
Source (s): AFP