The following is a press release/guest opinion. Their statements, writing style, and opinions are their own.
Enabling easy and equitable access to vaccination also seen as necessary to allow businesses to resume in a sustainable way
Bangkok – July 1, 2021 – International business and diversity management scholars at the College of Management Mahidol University (CMMU) recently advised that all organizations support and assist the government in strengthening the country in three strategic factors in response to the upcoming reopening and the stimulus of domestic tourism for this year’s third quarter.
The key factors, according to the CMMU business scholar, include promoting domestic tourism, connecting ASEAN tourism with the use of Digital Roadmap, and building confidence in local and international tourists. It is also recommended that easy and equitable access to vaccination would be a new energy that fuels the tourism industry and other sectors to resume and continue sustainably.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nattavud Pimpa, an international business and diversity management scholar at the College of Management Mahidol University (CMMU), who is also the focal person for the ASEAN Center for Education and Dialogue on Sustainable Development, said: “The pandemic is far from over. Accumulated infections are rising and the fourth wave of the outbreak is likely to be shaped. However, the government has the policy to reopen the country as part of its economic recovery effort. Therefore, to restore confidence in people and tourists, the national strategy has to be adjusted urgently to regain the country’s strength.”
Dr. Nattavud said there are three key factors to be considered:
Promoting domestic tourism
Completing the vaccination process means more locals and foreign visitors can travel with confidence and continue their daily activities. As a result, the country can set a strategy to stimulate domestic consumption and tourism in various forms such as waiving quarantine in case of cross-provincial travel or allowing tourists to demonstrate a travel passport (with a full-course COVID-19 vaccination status or fit-to-travel medical certificate) as an alternative to quarantine. Travelers with a full-course COVID-19 vaccination status can also receive special discounts on airfares and hotel accommodations, for instance, when traveling to key cities where a full course of vaccination is required. This is expected to stimulate the circular flow of income within local communities and consequently benefit the provincial and national economies.
Connecting ASEAN through the use of Digital Roadmap
In the event that the COVID-19 situation in Thailand is improving in the future, the country is advised to promote regional tourism. It should start from a city-to-city model first rather than country-to-country cooperation because it is more difficult to control. For better collaboration, each departing city should be well-informed about the travel requirements – a complete guide that helps bolster confidence in tourists and foreign investors – through the use of Digital Roadmap.
The Digital Roadmap approach drives tourism in ASEAN by capitalizing on digital tools like Digital Tourist, a system that involves the full application of Digital Vaccine Passport to create a tourist information repository (Big Data) giving relevant agencies in partnering countries the ability to track and verify travel history, health records, vaccination status, etc.
Instilling confidence in locals and foreign tourists
By using innovations and effective communication, the economy can be driven with confidence in international tourists and Thai residents alike. Innovations can simplify the complexity of interpersonal communication in a specific city or country and then ensure safety, convenience, and clarity in communication while traveling.
In the aspect of vaccination, in particular, things to be considered include the efficacy of each alternative vaccine, plan for importing and allocating vaccines to be sufficient to meet domestic demand, and match the estimated number of vaccine recipients of each province, for instance. Importantly, vaccination needs to reach the target herd immunity threshold, which is recommended to be about 70 percent of the population by the end of 2021.
According to the Constitution of the World Health Organization (1946), every country in the world has entered into an international agreement and cooperation between governments to manage the rights to health that ensures people around the world to be healthy. The Constitution also established extraterritorial responsibilities concerning international assistance and cooperation for access to essential health services.”
“Therefore, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines must be distributed to regions across the world in an equitable manner to strengthen the immunity of the people and for national security. Remember, promoting easy access to vaccination is a low-cost investment. When everyone gets a full course of timely vaccination, it will help strengthen the foundation for human well-being and then drive businesses while revitalizing the economy, locally and internationally, in the long term and in a sustainable way. Simply said, everyone has the right to equitable access to vaccination,” concluded Dr. Nattavud.