Today APEC launched a one-stop portal aiming to provide high-level summary of information on international travel within the region as member economies safely resume cross-border movement.
“One of Thailand’s focuses this year is to restore connectivity, which was disrupted by the pandemic, by promoting the resumption of safe cross-border travel across the APEC region, revitalize tourism, as well as facilitate business activities and increase investment in health security,” said Dr Pongsadhorn Pokpermdee, the Chair of APEC Health Working Group, who oversees the initiative.
“While the portal is heavily focused on travel and tourism, it provides information on health-related measures,” Dr Pongsadhorn added. “This only shows the importance of cross-collaboration between agencies in our economies in managing pandemic or any shocks.”
The information portal can be accessed at https://safepassage.apec.org. It aims to provide simple explanations of travel protocols and taps official resources, i.e., participating member economies, for summaries and information.
“Even as we open up our borders and ease travel restrictions, there are still some measures in place related to COVID-19 whether it’s health declaration, mask mandate or showing of vaccine certification,” explained Cherdchai Chaivaivid, the Chair of APEC Safe Passage Taskforce.
APEC established the Safe Passage Taskforce during Thailand’s host year to develop and implement initiatives for safe passage, including those in relation to vaccination certificates.
As travel restrictions around the world have eased, the taskforce has focused on connectivity and on how to ensure that borders stay open in the case of future shocks or another pandemic.
“An information hub that is clear, simple and coordinated will help travelers navigate the different approaches we have in the region. They can refer to this portal as they plan their trips across APEC,” Cherdchai added. “Our goal is to facilitate travel as best we can, and we are looking forward to more economies participating in this initiative.”
The launch of the information portal was announced during the meeting of senior officials in Bangkok on Tuesday, as they kickstarted the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week hosted by Thailand.
Visit the APEC Safe Passage portal here: www.safepassage.apec.org