A screen view of APEC's Safe Passage Portal. APEC launches "safepassage," an information hub for international travel. (ANTARA/HO-APEC Secretariat)

JAKARTA – The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on Tuesday launched a one-stop portal aimed at providing a high-level summary of information on international travel within the region as member economies safely resume cross-border movement.
"One of Thailand’s focuses this year is to restore connectivity, which was disrupted by the pandemic, by promoting the resumption of safe cross-border travel across the APEC region, revitalizing tourism, as well as facilitating business activities and increasing investment in health security," said Pongsadhorn Pokpermdee, chair of the APEC Health Working Group, who oversees the initiative.
While the portal is heavily focused on travel and tourism, Pongsadhorn said, it provides information on health-related measures.
"This only shows the importance of cross collaboration between agencies in our economies in managing the pandemic or any shocks," he said, as noted in a release issued by the APEC Health Working Group and received here on Wednesday.
The information portal can be accessed at https://safepassage.apec.org. It aims to provide simple explanations of travel protocols and taps official resources, i.e. participating member economies, for summaries and information.
"Even as we open up our borders and ease travel restrictions, there are still some measures in place related to Covid-19 whether it’s health declaration, mask mandate or showing of vaccine certification," chair of the APEC Safe Passage Taskforce Cherdchai Chaivaivid said.
APEC established the Safe Passage Taskforce during Thailand’s host year to develop and implement initiatives for safe passage, including those in relation to vaccination certificates.
As travel restrictions around the world have eased, the taskforce has focused on connectivity and on how to ensure that borders stay open in the case of future shocks or another pandemic.
"An information hub that is clear, simple, and coordinated will help travelers navigate the different approaches we have in the region. They can refer to this portal as they plan their trips across APEC," Cherdchai said.
"Our goal is to facilitate travel as best as we can, and we are looking forward to more economies participating in this initiative," he added.
The launch of the information portal was announced during the meeting of senior officials in Bangkok on Nov. 15, as they kickstarted the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week hosted by Thailand. (Antara)