JAKARTA - ASEAN tourism ministers have agreed to co-operate on a range of measures to avoid the spread on COVID-19 in the region.
The tourism ministers also agreed to support the development and implementation of crisis recovery plan post the COVID-19 as well as efforts on the promotion and marketing of joint tourism with the aim of advancing ASEAN as a single tourism destination
Most notably, the ASEAN member countries will accelerate the exchange of information about travel, especially related to health standards.
These measures will be coordinated by the ASEAN Tourism Crisis Communication Team (ATCCT).
As well as health, other co-operative measures agreed by ASEAN relate to information, transportation, immigration as well as external partners.
The minister said the aim is to collectively implement the comprehensive measures, to be transparent, and to quickly respond to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 and other crises in the future.
There was also agreement to develop standards and guidelines in improving the security and health factors for protecting the employees and communities in the hotel industry and others related to tourism.
The tourism ministers also agreed to support the development and implementation of crisis recovery plan post the COVID-19 as well as efforts on the promotion and marketing of joint tourism with the aim of advancing ASEAN as a single tourism destination.
"Several studies state that it needs at least five years for the tourism sector to return to the normal condition after the COVID-19. But I believe that ASEAN is better than that, the tourism in our region will recover faster under one condition, we have to strengthen the cooperation and collaboration," said Indonesia’s vice minister of tourism and creative economy, Angela Tanoesoedibjo.
Thailand’s minister of tourism and sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said Thailand had already implemented measures to mitigate the impact on entrepreneurs and employees in the tourism industry.
“In the next phase, we will issue additional measures to maintain tourism capability, generate revenue for tourism venues, develop skills for tourism personnel, establish safety standards on tourism and health, help tourism entrepreneurs, and create effective communication,” the minister added.
The ASEAN member countries reported tourism performance will decrease around 36% in the first quarter of 2020, compared to the same period in 2018 and 2019.