As a handful of countries in Asia and the Pacific are in the early stages of reopening their borders to tourism, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is increasingly confident about the future and is hopeful that we are finally in the endgame of the pandemic.
The chairman of PATA UK & Ireland, Chris Crampton, said in a statement yesterday, January 14, that “the rolling out of of (now three) vaccination programmes sees a positive shift in the course of the pandemic. ”
Countries in Asia that are beginning to open their borders include Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Dubai and the Maldives – albeit with varying levels of entry restrictions like visas or quarantine periods. Other countries including Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan are experimenting with country-to-country travel bubbles to jumpstart aviation, tourism, and business travel.
“Frustrating as it might be,” Crampton said, “there isn’t going to be a sudden relaxing of restrictions, it will be a phased approach, and so every new step forward towards allowing travel is welcome in itself, even if it doesn’t provide a silver bullet to an immediate resumption of tourism.”
PATA reports increased enquiries from the public about travelling again, but that was before the imposition of the most recent lockdowns in Ireland and the UK, which excludes all but essential travel.
The statement concludes: “In the meantime, PATA continues to support its members and agents and provide up-to-date factual information. Our calendar of events continues (virtually) and we’ve added new training and networking events to maintain opportunities for development. There are some really exciting developments in the region too from new hotel and attraction openings, global events, a return to cultural festivals and a greater focus on sustainability.”