U.N. report shows Europe leading tourism comeback

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The seaside resort city of Benidorm. Spain reopened to tourists on June 22.
The seaside resort city of Benidorm. Spain reopened to tourists on June 22. Photo Credit: Maxim Catana/Shutterstock

Led by Europe, tourism is restarting in a number of areas worldwide, with 22% of destinations (48) easing restrictions, according to a U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) report

Americans are currently barred from traveling to European Union countries.

The report indicates that 37 of those destinations are in Europe, where full border closures have been reduced to 26%, and include 24 of the 26 Schengen member states. Six of the destinations with eased tourism rules are in the Americas; three are in Asia and the Pacific; and two are in Africa. 

One month ago, only 3% (seven destinations) had eased travel restrictions.  

Despite the progress, 65% of destinations (141), still have their borders completely closed to international tourism in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In Africa, the proportion of destinations where borders remain closed to tourists stands at 85%. In the Americas, it is 76%; in Asia and the Pacific, 67%; and in the Middle East, 92%. 

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said the easing of restrictions “is being done in a responsible and measured way. However, this crisis is not over. UNWTO will continue to work with our member states around the world to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and to ensure that, when the time is right, tourism can help drive a responsible and sustainable recovery.” 

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