29 April 2020
To the Government Leaders of Australia, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar
Joint Letter from the Industry to Asian Leaders on Covid-19
The Asia Travel Tech Industry Association (ATTIA), Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) and EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) would like to convey our well-wishes and express our solidarity with your people and government. Collectively, the three associations represent some of the world’s largest and most experienced companies in the area of travel, tourism, hospitality, internet and technology. Our thoughts are especially with the healthcare and other frontline workers battling the COVID-19 crisis, and those displaced economically.
The tourism and hospitality sector has been especially hard-hit. While tourism has historically proven to be a resilient industry, recovery from this crisis will be determined by the steps taken by the government to sustain the industry amidst idle capacity, but more importantly preserve the sector’s skillsets and capabilities over a protracted period.
Targeted government economic stimulus packages and support measures provide a valuable lifeline to individuals and businesses in the tourism sector. And while we fully understand the need to limit certain economic activities to contain the spread of COVID-19, we also see merit in governments allowing some tourism-related businesses to remain open with relevant health and safety measures in place, and pivot towards serving essential travelers, such as stranded travelers and frontline workers battling the crisis.
The current situation is a public health crisis, but also a crisis of confidence at its very core. For international travel to resume, both governments and travelers must be confident that the mode of travel and travel accommodation are safe from COVID-19. There is immense interest from the industry to work together with governments to establish such frameworks for “clean routes” and “clean stays”. Bilaterally or multilaterally, countries will need to work together and agree on swift and effective testing procedures at the airport to certify travelers as “COVID-19 free”. Domestically, governments can encourage hotels and other travel accommodation to adopt relevant hygiene and sanitation standards in order to assure travelers.
We strongly believe that coordination amongst governments, as well as partnerships between government and industry to build such confidence-building measures, will determine the pace of tourism recovery.
The member companies of the three associations stand strongly committed to working together with your government to sustain your travel and tourism industry through this crisis and to play an active role in your tourism sector recovery efforts. Since the outset of the crisis, we have taken decisive action to support employees, customers, governments and the wider community in your country. This includes improved policies to safeguard the public, promoting credible and verified information, supporting travelers impacted by the disruption, and helping consumers and businesses stay connected.
We welcome a video conference meeting with you or your team, if your time allows, to further discuss how we could support you during these challenging times.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of our highest consideration.
Choo Pin Ang Chairperson, Asia Travel Tech Industry Association Chairperson, Asia Internet Coalition firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff W. T. Paine Managing Director Asia Internet Coalition email@example.com
Chris Humphrey Executive Director EU-ASEAN Business Council firstname.lastname@example.org
cc: Ministers of Tourism Australia, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar
Organization Mission Members Asia Travel Tech Industry Association (ATTIA)
The Asia Travel Technology Industry Association (ATTIA), seeks to promote a deeper understanding of the policy issues that stand at the intersection of travel and technology. ATTIA works with governments across the Asia-Pacific region to ensure that innovation and technology bring opportunities to the travel and tourism industry and its stakeholders.
Our members comprise large travel and technology platforms including Agoda, Airbnb, Booking.com, and Expedia Group.
Asia Internet Coalition (AIC)
The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) was established in 2010 as an industry association that promotes the understanding and resolution of Internet policy issues in the Asia Pacific region. Our mission is to represent the internet industry and participate and promote stakeholder dialogue between the public and private sectors, sharing best practices and ideas on internet technology and the digital economy.
Our members comprise leading internet and technology companies, namely Amazon, Airbnb, Apple, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Facebook, Grab, Google, LinkedIn, LINE, Rakuten, Twitter and Yahoo (Verizon Media).
EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU- ABC)
The EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) is the sole voice for European Business within the ASEAN region, formally recognised as such by the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat. Established to help promote the interests of European businesses operating within ASEAN and to advocate for changes in trade and investment policies and regulations, the EU-ABC raises the profile of European businesses in the region through formal events and high-profile dialogues.
The EU-ABC’s membership consists of large European MNCs and the nine European Chambers of Commerce from around Southeast Asia. As such, the EU-ABC represents a diverse range of European industries cutting across almost every commercial sphere from car manufacturing through to financial services and including FMCG and high-end electronics and communications. Our members all have a vested interest in enhancing trade, commerce and investment between Europe and ASEAN.
See full letter, plus appendix in PDF