World Tourism Organization

Progressing visa openness and its contribution in decline of tourists' and locals' safety level

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability. One of UNWTO’s concerns are visa procedures applied by different countries. Globally there is a big variety in visa policies, from countries allowing almost any citizen to enter freely to countries requesting visas indiscriminately. UNWTO monitored the development of visa policies since 1963. Data has been collected on an annual basis since 2008 and is validated through surveys and communication with member states. As policies of member states have been modified through the years, many benefits and consequences gushed out form changes. The focus of the debate is the aspect of global safety levels in face of ongoing changes in visa policies. Bearing in mind the necessity of maintaining security for both locals and tourists is one of governments’ main concerns, the threat posed by progressing visa openness is an issue that demands an immediate reaction. The dependency of country’s security on visa policy it more than significant. Therefore, this relationship must be monitored, controlled and modified if the need occurs.

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