To boost tourism, ASEAN countries should initiate standardized travel requirements, says AirAsia

Published on : Friday, March 5, 2021

Malaysian airline AirAsia has requested the ASEAN nations to build up standardized travel requirements to speed up the coming back process of some international air travel.

On Thursday, the company declared that it had completed an evaluation of the COVID-19 procedures and protocols implemented in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, China and Australia. It was found that restrictions related to travel requirements differ considerably.

The review in particular noted that majority of regional travel is still constricted to business travel and essential travelers only however suggested many countries have remained unsuccessful in updating their requirements to reflect the constantly evolving situation of the world. A key recommendation is for travel bubble expansion for leisure travelers to be implemented in phase by phase manner, starting with destinations in safe zones, to provide a launch pad for the recovery of the tourism industry.

To quote AirAsia Group President, Airlines, Bo Lingam, “COVID-19 has left a severe impact on everyone and particularly on the travel and hospitality industries. In order to resume cross border travel activity effectively and safely, a mutually agreed global framework approach is needed. Travel requirements in the region are currently complex and uncoordinated and travel bubbles are limited and underutilized. While we welcome the implementation of certain travel passes which are currently being developed or in testing phases, what is needed to stimulate international air travel again, is coordination among countries.”

“The travel and tourism industry must work together with one consistent set of protocols and procedures for guests such as testing and vaccination requirements, coupled with a mutually agreed common digital health pass and with the expansion of travel bubbles to include the leisure sector.”

“Resuming air travel is a collective effort. By working together we will be in a much better position to welcome the return of international flying in the not too distant future, delivering a much-needed boost to the global economy.”

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