Thursday, October 28

MATTA calls on Asean to develop vaccine passports to revive regional tourism


MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang – File photo

KUALA LUMPUR (28 July): The Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (MATTA) has proposed that Asean governments work on an Asean Digital Covid-19 Certificate in preparation for reopening of borders in the region.

MATTA said Asean governments should implement widely accepted vaccine passport protocols as most of them are fast-tracking their national immunisation programme and international borders should be reopened soon.

MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said a uniform set of standard operating procedures (SOP) must be established to avoid confusion within Asean countries.

Asean countries should consider IATA travel passes and WHO vaccine passports to facilitate international travel along with the Asean digital certificate, he said in a statement today.

“Ideally, the Asean Digital Covid-19 Certificate will provide information of proof of vaccination, to show if a person holds a negative SARS-COV-2 test result, or has recovered from Covid-19,” he added.

MATTA recommends a ‘one-stop’ verification process before departure, involving coordination between authorities, airports and airlines to avoid duplication.

He said Asean member countries should ensure that the verification is carried out as early as possible, preferably before the traveller arrives at the airport to ensure a smooth process for all parties involved.

He said Asean countries should push aggressively for their own Asean Digital Covid-19 Certificate so that they are not behind other countries.

The certificate will help people regain their livelihoods as tourism is a key economic driver in Asean countries and intra-Asean travelling is vital as the region cannot depend on long-haul travel and travel bubbles to resuscitate its tourism economy, he added. – Bernama