The Bankok Post is reporting that the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) will call for the reopening of borders among the 10 member states at the 24th meeting of Asean Tourism Ministries next week.
ASEANTA, which includes the 10 national tourism organisations together with the private sector, are warning that the sector is on the brink of collapse and that it must be allowed to start to operate at some level by the first or second quarter of 2021.
“More than 70% of tourism jobs in this region will be lost if the borders remain closed, but once tourism picks up we will face another crisis, a labour shortage.”Mingkwan Metmowlee, President ASEAN Tourism Association via Bangkok Post
The ASEANTA proposal is for a regional framework to be drafted for cross-border travel with standard operating procedures for testing and vaccination requirements throughout the region. We first reported on the possibility of an ASEAN Travel Bubble on 6th January.
It is hoped that by reopening borders to business travellers from throughout ASEAN countries, plus key partners, China, Japan and South Korea, would help to build confidence in the procedures allowing tourist to follow later in the year.
The organisation is suggesting that a digital health passport scheme should be put in place for the ASEAN countries that will identify, as a minimum, vaccination and testing records. Adopting a region-wide policy would enable travellers to move within the region without further quarantine and restrictions. It is hoped this could be put in place by October.
It is increasingly looking likely that travel to Southeast Asia for general tourism will only be possible in 2021 toward the end of the year and for those who have received the vaccine.
The ASEANTA member states are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
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