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Coronavirus

Over 60% of Asia still closed to tourists, versus 17% of Europe

COVID-wary region lags behind in reviving vital sector, data shows

The Great Wall of China: The government in Beijing has not rushed to allow international tourists, counting on its large domestic travel market.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Asian countries were some of the most aggressive in closing their borders to fight COVID-19 and are among the slowest to reopen to tourists, recently compiled data shows, underscoring the prolonged pressure on economies that rely heavily on international visitors.

As of Sept. 1, 28 countries or territories in the Asia-Pacific region -- 61% -- remained completely closed to foreign tourists according to the World Tourism Organization, a United Nations agency. This was far ahead of the 17% of European destinations that were still off-limits, and exceeded the 41% for the Americas and 51% for Africa as well.

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