Tourist arrivals to international destinations in January 2021 reduced by 87 percent compared to January 2020 as a result of the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the world.
This is because many countries still carried over the restrictions in domestic and international travel has been carried over to 2021 and the outlook for the rest of the year remain cautious, according to the United Nations world Tourism Organisations (UNWTO) in its latest release.
In the latest edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the United Nations’ agency said: “All the world regions continued to experience large drops in tourist arrivals in the first month of the year. Mandatory testing, quarantines, and in some cases the complete closure of borders, have all hindered the resumption of international travel. In addition, the speed and distribution of the vaccination roll-out have been slower than expected, further delaying the restart of tourism.
“The international community needs to take strong and urgent action to ensure a brighter 2021. Many millions of livelihoods and businesses are depending on it
“Asia and the Pacific (-96 percent), the region which continues to have the highest level of travel restrictions in place, recorded the largest decrease in international arrivals in January. Europe and Africa both saw a decline of 85 percent in arrivals, while the Middle East recorded a drop of 84%. International arrivals in the Americas decreased by 79 percent in January, following somewhat better results in the last quarter of the year.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili also added: “2020 was the worst year on record for tourism. The international community needs to take strong and urgent action to ensure a brighter 2021. Many millions of livelihoods and businesses are depending on it. Improved coordination between countries and harmonized travel and health protocols are essential to restore confidence in tourism and allow international travel to resume safely ahead of the peak summer season in the northern hemisphere.”