The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has triggered an unprecedented collapse in the travel and tourism industry and the recovery is now expected to be slower than initially thought.
Reviving the sector requires collaboration and coordination across the travel and tourism ecosystem.
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused extraordinary losses around the world, with millions of deaths, millions of people unemployed and hundreds of millions more at risk of unemployment and poverty growing.
KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER
- To ensure a safe resumption of travel and tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, harmonized health and safety guidelines must be observed at all transit points.
- The threat of transmission of COVID-19 during travel can be mitigated through an industry-wide set of harmonized health and safety protocols.
- Wearing face masks, proper hand washing, social distancing, and following other similar health and safety protocols are highly recommended to stem the transmission of COVID-19 while traveling.
According to the AfDB’s Asian Development Outlook 2020 report, tourism-driven economies, including the Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau, Samoa and Vanuatu, have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Asia and the Pacific region alone is expected to lose nearly 70 million jobs and $ 1.1 trillion in GDP, more than any other region in the world.
“These policy recommendations are the result of extensive consultation with leaders from airports, airlines, hotels and governments. They provide a roadmap on how countries in the Asia and Pacific region can reopen this critical sector in the most prudent, responsible and efficient way possible. “
Patrick Osewe AfDB Health Sector Group Leader
But increasing immunization rates see many countries slowly restarting their international and domestic travel sectors. COVID-19 procurement precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of passengers as the transportation industry faces the challenges of travel and tourism in this ‘new normal’.
Asian Development Bank (AfDB) released set of health-focused policy recommendations Reopening of borders to revive the economy and resume travel to Asia and the Pacific to help members of our region make the best political decisions for their situation.
The recommendations stem from months of in-depth collaboration with key partners, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association, the Pacific Asia Travel Association, and other stakeholders and industry leaders.
“These policy recommendations are the result of extensive consultation with leaders from airports, airlines, hotels and governments,” said AfDB Health Sector Group Leader Dr Patrick Osewe. “They provide a roadmap on how countries in the Asia and Pacific region can reopen this critical sector in the most prudent, responsible and efficient way possible. “
The recommendations have been grouped into four categories: (1) strengthen management and planning; (2) introduce transmission barriers; (3) improving sanitation; and (4) promote medical screening. A three-phase approach for each category also serves as a checklist for recommended actions in each perceived phase of COVID-19.