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Published on Wednesday, March 31, 2021

No rebound yet in 2021 as global tourist arrivals down 87 per cent

There has been little respite for travel industry so far in 2021 as new data shows January international tourist arrivals are still down 87% on last year.

The impact on global tourism has carried into 2021 and the outlook for the rest of the year remains cautious.

According to the latest edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, all world regions continued to experience large drops in tourist arrivals in the first month of the year.

The UNWTO continues its call for stronger coordination on travel protocols between countries to ensure the safe restart of tourism and avoid another year of massive losses.

Mandatory testing, quarantines, and in some cases the complete closure of borders, have all hindered the resumption of international travel, it says.

In addition, the speed and distribution of the vaccination roll-out has been slower than expected, further delaying the restart of tourism.

The data shows that all global regions have been hit hard so fa this year.

Asia and the Pacific (-96%) is 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% in arrivals, while the Middle East recorded a drop of 84%.

International arrivals in the Americas decreased by 79% in January, after somewhat better results in the last quarter of the year.

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