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Visa-Free Entry Driving Travel Growth in Asia-Pacific

Visa Free in Asia-Pacific
Visa-free entry policies are proving to be a significant driver of inbound travel growth in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, as highlighted by Singapore travel booking service Trip.com Group.

Growing Trend of Visa-Free Policies

At the Airline Global Conference 2024, held at the Pudong Shangri-La, Trip.com‘s Chief Operating Officer, Schubert Lou, emphasized the positive impact of visa-free policies within the region. He noted that these policies, starting with Malaysia last year and now spreading across the region, are fueling the growth of travel to and from APAC countries. Indonesia is set to adopt visa-free entry policies next, following the lead of Singapore and Thailand.

The introduction of visa-free entry has led to a surge in outbound travel from China, marking what Mr. Lou describes as the “just pack your bag and go” era of China outbound travel. Since the implementation of visa-free policies, China’s outbound travel has increased by 20% as of May 1, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Similarly, the Southeast Asia outbound market has seen a remarkable 60% growth compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Free Visa Entry in APAC: The Engine of Growth

Mr. Lou highlighted the Asia-Pacific region as the “engine of growth” for global air passenger demand in the first quarter of the year, partly attributed to the visa-free policies. This growth has also been fueled by promotional efforts from tourism boards and governments, along with the recovery in flight capacity and favorable exchange rates in destination countries.

Despite the positive impact of visa-free policies, challenges remain in the travel process. Stephan Copart, Head of Project and Innovation at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), pointed out that pre-flight procedures and immigration processes continue to be significant pain points for travelers. However, initiatives such as visa waivers on platforms like Trip.com have helped alleviate these concerns, leading to increased demand for spontaneous trips.

Read Also: 20 Top and Best Destinations to Visit in the Philippines

Embracing Data for Streamlined Travel

To address immigration and visa requirements efficiently, travelers are increasingly willing to share data to expedite the process. According to Mr. Copart, 87% of passengers are willing to share immigration information before departure to facilitate the arrival process. This growing preference for online visa applications reflects a broader trend toward embracing technology for seamless travel experiences.

In conclusion, visa-free entry policies are playing a pivotal role in driving travel growth across the Asia-Pacific region. Though challenges persist, advancements in data sharing and digital processes will streamline travel, providing travelers with greater convenience and accessibility.

Read Also: Taiwan Paves the Way for Extended Visa-Free Entry for Filipinos Until July 2024

Report

Written by Marjo Piedad

Traveler | Foodie | CONTENT EDITOR
📍Cebu, Philippines
 
For features and advertising inquiries, please email  editor@proudlyfilipino.com.

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