One out of five destinations continue to have their borders completely closed as new surges of Covid-19 impact the restart of international tourism. The latest research shows that 98 per cent of all destinations still have some kind of travel restrictions in place.
According to the UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report, 46 destinations (21 per cent of all destinations worldwide) currently have their borders completely closed to tourists. Of these, 26 destinations have had their borders completely closed since at least the end of April last year. A further 55 (25 per cent of all global destinations) continue to have their borders partially closed to international tourism, and 112 destinations (52 per cent of all destinations) require international tourists to present a PCR or antigen test upon arrival.
The research also shows how destinations are opening up to vaccinated international tourists: 85 destinations have eased restrictions for fully vaccinated international tourists, while 20 destinations have made a full Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for entering a destination for tourism purposes. However, just four destinations have so far lifted all Covid-19-related restrictions completely (Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Mexico).
UNWTO secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili, said: “The safe easing or lifting of restrictions on travel are essential for the restart of tourism and the return of the social and economic benefits the sector offers. The trend towards destinations taking evidence-based approaches to restrictions reflects the evolving nature of the pandemic will also help restore confidence in travel while helping keep both tourists and tourism workers safe.”
As in previous editions of the UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report research, this latest report shows that regional differences with regards to travel restrictions remain. Asia and the Pacific remains the region with the most restrictions in place, with 65 per cent of all destinations completely closed.
In comparison, Europe is the most open global region to international tourists (seven per cent of borders completely closed), followed by Africa (nine per cent), the Americas (ten per cent) and the Middle East (15 per cent).