The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has criticised the imposition of blanket travel restrictions, as seen in recent days.

This call echoes the concerns expressed by UNWTO members at the UNWTO general assembly, which is being held this week in Spain.

Countries from all over the world expressed solidarity with southern African states, calling for the immediate lifting of travel bans imposed on specific countries and the preservation of international travel freedom.

In light of recent events, the UNWTO has warned governments that imposing blanket travel restrictions is discriminatory, inefficient, and contrary to WHO recommendations.

Countries or entire regions may be stigmatised as a result of blanket bans.

Members states and partners, including voices from international organisations and the private sector, reaffirmed WHO recommendations that travel restrictions should only be applied as a last resort in reaction to changing conditions during the UNWTO general assembly.

It was also emphasised that any constraints imposed must be proportionate, clear, and scientifically sound.

They must also be introduced with a clear understanding of what banning international travel would imply for the most vulnerable, such as developing nations and individuals whose economies and livelihoods rely on tourism.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, the UNWTO has advocated for coordinated and evidence-based methods to balancing public health issues with maintaining tourism’s lifeline.

Over the last few months, this strategy has proven to be the most effective.

– India’s new age travel digital media


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