While COVID-19-related travel restrictions are still in place in all destinations worldwide, 72% of destinations have completely stopped international tourism, the UN tourism body said on Monday.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) stressed that the world tourism has remained at a standstill amid discussions on possible first measures for lifting restrictions.

“Out of all 217 destinations worldwide, 156 (72%) have placed a complete stop on international tourism,” the organization noted.

It underlined that restrictions have been in place for at least three months in 25% of destinations, while 40% of destinations introduced them at least two months ago.

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili said tourism has been the hardest hit of all the major sectors as countries have imposed lockdowns and people stay at home.

“UNWTO calls on governments to work together to coordinate the easing and lifting of restrictions in a timely and responsible manner, when it is deemed safe to do so,” Pololikashvili said.

Noting that tourism is a lifeline to millions, especially in the developing world, Pololikashvili highlighted that opening the world up to tourism again will save jobs, protect livelihoods and enable the sector to resume its vital role in driving sustainable development.

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