THE creation of a ‘green lane’ which will facilitate the entry of foreign travelers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is being supported by AirAsia, which is also currently looking at providing incentives for fully-vaccinated individuals, not only to stir the demand for safe air travel, but also to encourage everyone to take the vaccine shot.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) recently called for the said creation of the ‘green lane’ as necessary to explore other means of encouraging tourists to visit the Philippines to revive the country’s tourism under safer conditions.
“AirAsia believes that the ‘green lane’ will encourage leisure travelers who have previously expressed concerns on varying requirements per destination. This will be further reinforced by the implementation of uniform travel requirements through a digital travel pass. If the execution becomes effective for domestic travel, then we can slowly welcome foreign tourists again,” said AirAsia Philippines spokesman Steve Dailisan.
“While we strongly believe that easing of restrictions among fully vaccinated individuals is key to rebooting tourism, there must be no room for complacency. Industry partners and all stakeholders must proactively monitor and observe established health and safety protocols,” Dailisan added.
Other business groups have also expressed support for DOT’s ‘green lane’ proposal.
The Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry said there is a need to allow foreign travelers entry to the Philippines because our tourism industry will not survive on local tourists alone.
The chamber however noted that fully vaccinated tourists must still be subjected to RT-PCR tests.
The Euromonitor International, a world leading independent provider of strategic market research forecasted that by 2023, Philippine tourist inbound arrivals will be at 9.9 million given the government applies measures such as COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, easing or lifting of travel restrictions, and the implementation of stringent yet convenient and seamless travel protocols like the ‘green lane’.
Dailisan said this data corroborates with AirAsia’s projection of a full recovery by 2023. The airline plans on slowly achieving recovery later this year with the resumption of international flights in August.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, AirAsia has implemented a robust multi-layered approach to passenger safety from check-in to inflight. Numerous digital and contactless solutions have also been put in place to ensure a safe, affordable and comfortable guest experience,” he added.
Spain, France, Nepal, Thailand (Phuket) have adopted the use of ‘green lane’ and are now allowing entry of fully vaccinated travelers.