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UN Tourism reports Pre-Pandemic levels of openness



UN Tourism reports open borders on par with Pre-Pandemic times. The report illuminates the dynamic landscape of travel facilitation, featuring the Tourism Visa Openness Index, which assesses destinations’ tourism facilitation and visa accessibility. Mobility scores gauge global citizens’ susceptibility to visa policies, alongside an extensive examination of visa policy reciprocity.

Key findings reveal:

• Return to Pre-pandemic openness: International travel openness has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels post COVID-19 travel restrictions’ lift. The pandemic spurred new facilitation forms like “nomadic visas.”
• Decline in traditional visa requirements: Traditional visa necessity decreased globally from 77% in 2008 to 59% in 2018, further declining to 47% in 2023.
• Visa-exempt travel: 21% of the global population enjoys visa-exempt travel, up from 17% in 2008 and 20% in 2018.
• Visa on arrival: 14% of the global population can opt for visa on arrival, a notable rise from 6% in 2008 and 15% in 2018.
• eVisas: 18% of the global population can apply for eVisas, up from 3% in 2013 and 7% in 2018.

The report assesses tourism visa regulations by region, highlighting:

• Asia-Pacific boasting the highest openness score globally.
• South East Asia, East Africa, and the Caribbean emerging as the most open sub-regions.
• South Asia and West Africa witnessing significant openness surge since 2018.
• Central and North Africa, North America, and Northern and Western Europe remaining the most restrictive regions.
• Visa exemptions prevalent in the Caribbean and Central America.
• Visa on arrival policies common in East Africa, South Asia, South East Asia, and West Africa.
• Middle East traditional visa requests decreasing from 71% of the global population in 2015 to 57% in 2023.
• West and East Africa and South Asia showcasing eVisa prevalence.

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