New Caledonia, The Islands of Tahiti, and Papua New Guinea are the first Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) member countries alongside 71 countries in the world that have lifted their COVID-19 travel restrictions and have reopened to international travel and tourism.
These three Pacific Island nations join Australia from the Oceania region to have no COVID-19 travel restrictions. This is according to the UNWTO-IATA Easy Travel tool which is a destination tracker and the first global dashboard on air travel restrictions and health-related travel requirements. Aside from providing critical travel information the tool also aims to support policy making by providing a global overview of travel restrictions.
A product of collaboration between the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the tool also incorporates data from other public sources such as Our World in Data and the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker. Furthermore, it includes information on countries with no COVID-19-related travel restrictions in health indicators, destination-specific restrictions, and current air travel and health regulations.
Acknowledging the critical links between aviation and tourism SPTO CEO Christopher Cocker noted SPTO’s support of the UNWTO-IATA Easy Travel tool, acknowledging that it will help boost the confidence of travellers whilst also providing useful information to destinations.
“Post pandemic, information, sharing, and collaboration is key. We recognize that this tool will help our members keep abreast of travel-related developments in other destinations which in turn will prompt us to remain competitive in the global market”.
“As the Pacific continues to reopen our borders and reactivate tourism, these types of support mechanisms are needed as they will encourage travel and tourism through the provision of accurate information”, he said.