Travel qualms? New Destination Tracker shares country's readiness for travellers - from South Africa to the US
The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) new Destination Tracker collab aims to restore confidence in travel. Will it work?
Are you travelling to a destination and unaware of the Covid-19 restrictions and the measures taken to provide safe travel?
UNWTO-IATA announced a collaboration that aims to restore confidence in travel amid the pandemic. The Destination Tracker intends to accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector when borders reopen.
The new free online tool allows governments to provide information about Covid-19 requirements for travel and the measures implemented at the destination.
Available on both the organisation's websites, travellers will get the low down on Covid-19 infection rates, positivity rates, and vaccination roll-out per destination/country.
The tracker will also shed light on air travel regulations, from Covid testing, quarantine requirements and the general health and safety requirements.
Governments can share all Covid-19 travel information to entice people to visit and assist them to plan their trip accordingly.
According to IATA, the destinations' information is being "progressively uploaded, expanded and updated with official sources" in line with the latest pandemic news.
How does it work
IOL Travel typed South Africa in the UNWTO-IATA Destination Tracker. It has six categories, which include Health Indicators, Air Travel, Destination, Regulation, Map View and Analysis.
Each category offers information that travellers require to make their travel decisions. For example, under the Air Travel category, it stipulates that international travellers can only land in Cape Town, Durban, Joburg and Nelspruit. It states that the destination requires a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before departure.
There is ample information provided to help travellers decide whether to travel or not.
What the industry experts say
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said the new tool allowed travellers and companies to check requirements in place for air travel and measures in place at the visited destination.
"We trust this tool is also critical for governments to track existing travel restrictions and support the safe restart of our sector," he said.
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General, said the UNWTO-IATA Destination Tracker will assist with information for travel planning.
“It has been more than a year since the freedom to travel was lost as Covid-19 measures saw borders close. When governments have the confidence to reopen borders, people will be eager to travel. And they will need accurate information to guide them. With the support of national tourism organisations, the UNWTO-IATA Destination Tracker will help travellers and travel companies obtain the latest information for travel planning,” he said.
UNWTO and IATA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to restore confidence in international air travel in October.