Welcoming the government of China’s decision to reopen border with quarantine-free travel, Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific reiterated its calls for consistent and harmonised approach from the governments in response measures towards managing inbound travel.
Commenting on the development, ACI Asia-Pacific Director General Stefano Baronci said, “China has played a dominating role in the region’s economy and is anticipated to be one of the most vibrant aviation markets, contributing 16 percent of the global traffic by 2040. The decision to reopen borders is long awaited. China is a significant contributor to tourism in the region and the reopening of the borders will be a huge boost for the industry as well as the economy of the region.”
China is the last major economy in the world to reopen borders after three years of lockdowns in accordance with its Zero-COVID strategy. “The opening of Chinese borders completes the process of normalisation of freedom of movement of international passengers in the region that has already witnessed relaxation of travel protocols during the second half of 2022,” Baronci said.
In order to ensure smooth recovery of air traffic, co-operation and the establishment of standards that harmonise the processes for international travel between states are crucial. The Director General also cautioned that governments should work closely with aviation industry. “The latest introduction of inbound travel protocols in India and Japan confirms the need to improve the coordination of travel restrictions amongst States that should strengthen their dialogue for coordinated prevention, preparedness and response planning with the involvement of the aviation industry and more effective and aligned decision making for travel regimes,” Baronci said.
The global recovery will only be realised with the escalation of vaccination campaigns, development of digital health passes, and supportive policies from governments. This also calls for further engagement by WHO and ICAO.