ITB 2024 Special Reporting
Easing of red tape to fuel travel boom in APAC region
Sunday, 12th May 2013
Source : Web in Travel
Imagine Asia Pacific travel without red tape? Why, the potential would be enormous. And the number one red tape that David Brett, President of Amadeus Asia Pacific, would like to see addressed is "VISA APPLICATION"  procedures.

4Hoteliers Image Library"There are still many countries across Asia Pacific, China and India included, that require getting a visa ahead of travel. I believe the industry would benefit greatly from streamlining these visa processes. This would require extensive collaboration between many key players," he said. (pictured right)

Believing it is possible for the industry to work together to address this red tape which is impeding flow of tourism especially from huge markets such as India and China, Brett said, "It wasn't that long ago that the industry relied on paper airplane tickets. In fact, Amadeus played a key role in changing the industry from paper to e-ticketing, which is now common practice for travel. Can you remember when you last used a paper ticket for travel? Collaboration is key to make our wishes come true."

He added that countries would benefit from making the application for a visa a stress-free, seamless process. "Look at the positive impact to tourism following the change in visa processes for Chinese visitors to Thailand in 2009. Last year, Thailand received over two million Chinese tourists, up from 777,508 in 2009. The result is greater travel and increased spend. Something we can all benefit from."

The second red tape Brett wished to see removed is "IMMIGRATION FORMS".

"I often travel three out of every four weeks and so I am no stranger to these forms."

WIT asked Brett what his two top wishes were, following the release of the Amadeus study, "Shaping The Future of Travel in Asia Pacific: The big FOUR Travel Effects". The Red Tape Effect was the second of the four – the first being, Me (see article), and third and fourth being Leapfrog and Barbell respectively, which we will cover in subsequent weeks in this series of articles.

4Hoteliers Image LibraryIn the Amadeus study, many travellers shared the same wish as Brett – the ability to travel seamlessly across Asia Pacific the same way they can in Europe.

The good news is that the walls obstructing trade and travel in APAC are slowly but surely falling due to greater economic convergence and integration, said the study, and this would lead to greater travel, be it for business or pleasure.

An indication of this liberalisation is in free trade agreements (FTAs), which increased from 53 in 2000 to 250 last September, with 103 now being implemented.

As FTAs draw economies together and stimulate trade, they also help increase travel between countries. This easing of trade restrictions across the region has stimulated intra-regional economic activity with intra-Asian trade accounting for over 55% of the region's total Asian trade in 2011.

Read full story HERE
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