A third of the 218 tourist sites in the world continue to be closed to visitors as part of the measures implemented to deal with COVID-19, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) revealed today.
A report issued indicates that at the beginning of March there were 70 destinations in this situation, 30 of them in Asia and the Pacific; 15 in Europe, 12 in Africa, 10 in the Americas and three in the Middle East.
COVID Variants generating new complications
According to the governing body of that sector, the appearance of new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, prompted many governments to reverse efforts to ease travel restrictions.
The greatest extension of total closures is registered in Europe and Asia-Pacific due to the adoption of a ‘more cautious approach’ in the face of the persistent seriousness of the epidemiological situation, adds the UNWTO report. For that body there is a tendency to apply travel bans with a more nuanced approach and based on ’empirical data and risks’.
The study says that 32 percent of tourist destinations require the presentation of a PCR or negative antigen certificate for travelers as the main requirement for international arrivals, which is often combined with a quarantine.
Restrictions are only part of the solution
According to UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili, restrictions are only part of the solution. And its application, he added, “must be based on the latest data and analysis and systematically reviewed to enable the safe and responsible resumption of a sector on which many millions of companies and jobs depend.”
The document argues that the recommendations made by governments in this area will play a crucial role in the resumption and recovery of tourism in the coming weeks and in the months to come.