UNWTO releases Global Guidelines for Reopening Tourism


01 June 2020: A new research from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) released its Global Guidelines for Reopening Tourism, signalling a transition into gearing up for stronger and better recovery. The report indicates that 3% of all global destinations have now taken steps to ease travel restrictions. The fourth edition of its COVID-19 Related Travel Restrictions: A Global Review for Tourism report, released recently, highlights the measures of 217 destinations worldwide as of 18 May 2020.

The research shows that 7 destinations have eased travel restrictions for international tourism purposes. All UNWTO regions have more than 65% of their destinations completely closed to tourism: Africa (74%), Americas (86%), Asia and the Pacific (67%), Europe (74%) and the Middle East (69%).

Meanwhile, UNWTO has released a set of guidelines to help tourism sector emerge stronger and more sustainably from COVID-19. The guidelines highlight the need to act decisively, to restore confidence and, as UNWTO strengthens its partnership with Google, to embrace innovation and the digital transformation of global tourism.

Commenting on the report, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The timely and responsible easing of travel restrictions will help ensure the many social and economic benefits that tourism guarantees will return in a sustainable way. This will contribute to the livelihoods of many millions of people around the world.”

The UN agency warns that international tourist arrivals could fall by between 60% and 80%. This puts 100-120 million jobs at risk and could lead to US$ 910 billion to US$ 1.2 trillion lost in exports. As such UNWTO formed the Global Tourism Crisis Committee to guide the sector as it responds to the COVID-19 crisis and to build the foundations for future resilience and sustainable growth.

It was reported by the UN agency that the Tourism sector is witnessing loss of 850 million to 1.1 billion international tourists, which is translated into loss of US$910 billion to US$1.2 trillion in export revenues from tourism and 100 to 120 million direct tourism jobs at risk.