International Business

Adoption of technology to reboot tourism industry in ASEAN

by Mike Mookung Kim

  98% of international arrivals has dropped in just 7 months after the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020. The global tourism sector has been hit hard and is still not recovering until now. Undoubtedly, the vaccines and medications for the virus will help to boost the industry but we can’t be too optimistic.

  Technology is at the core of solutions for reviving the travel industry COVID-19 and re-opening the borders to recover the hard hit economy (e.g. mobility tracing apps, touchless service delivery, digital health protocols and identity controls, social distancing and crowding control technologies, big data for real time decision-making, disinfecting and sterilizing public spaces and accommodations, automated detecting or measuring body temperature, providing safety or security). while technology is seen as a panacea to COVID-19 pandemic driven-needs to normalize surveillance, to ensure public health and safety for travelers, to collect and analyze personal data for fast decision-making.

  For instance, Singapore has introduced the Tracetogether application for all inbound travelers for easier tracing of positive cases in the community. It does not collect private data but uses Bluetooth technology to detect people arounds you. According to JakartaPost, We Love Bali program, the Tourism Ministry also plans to set Rp 119 billion (US$8 million) to provide free CHSE certification for businesses across Indonesia. The certificate is intended to help regain tourists’ trust in travel. Tourism industry, a major contributor to the GDP of ASEAN countries (12.5% to ASEAN GDP, 7% employment) is vital to the economy in this region. Compared to East Asian countries or Americas, it is crucial for ASEAN countries to restore the trust and confidence in new era of tourism. Seamless and touchless technologies will help ASEAN aviation and tourism sector to open the door for international tourists.