The scale of disruption caused by COVID-19 to global tourism is shown in a comprehensive new report on travel restrictions from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The report shows that almost all global destinations have imposed restrictions on travel since January 2020, including complete bans on all travel as they work to contain the pandemic.
Over recent years, as the United Nations specialized agency for tourism, UNWTO has been regularly monitoring travel facilitation and observing a continuous trend towards more openness. COVID-19 has dramatically interrupted this.
According to research carried out for the new report, as of April 6, 96% of all worldwide destinations have introduced travel restrictions in response to the pandemic. Around 90 destinations have completely or partially closed their borders to tourists, while a further 44 are closed to certain tourists depending on the country of origin.
The global regions are largely consistent in their response to COVID-19.
In Africa, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East, 100% of destinations have adopted COVID-19-related restrictions since January 2020. In the Americas, 92% of destinations have taken similar steps, while in Europe, the proportion is 93% (as of April 6).