(Jakarta) – The US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) launched the first country level installment of its Travel Reopening Roadshow Series in Indonesia on Wednesday, December 8. The 3-hour virtual event convened stakeholders from the business community, travel ecosystem, and Government of Indonesia across 3 panel sessions to discuss: Data Driven Models for Designing Safe Travel Protocols; Interoperability and Mutual Recognition of Digital Health Credentials; and Trends and Themes Shaping the Post Pandemic Travel Industry.
Amb. Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of USABC officially opened the roadshow, followed by remarks from H.E. Sidharto Suryodipuro, Director General for ASEAN Cooperation at the Indonesia Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“I am thrilled that we are able to host the first session of this roadshow series in Indonesia. Indonesia has been outspoken advocate of reopening borders in a safe and sustainable manner, which is apparent in their leadership of the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Task Force (ATCAF)” said Amb. Michael Michalak. “The Council and its members are ready to serve as a resource and partner to Indonesia in its economic recovery and reopening efforts, including revitalization of the travel and tourism sector. I am eager to host future sessions of this roadshow series in other ASEAN countries next year.”
The event was sponsored by USABC member companies Airbnb, Boeing, IBM, Adobe, and Marriott. The roadshow also included the participation of officials from the Indonesia Ministry of Communication and Information (KOMINFO), Ministry of Health (MOH), and Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (MOTCE), as well as representatives from the Asia Travel and Technology Industry Association (ATTIA), Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) and the Common Trust Network.
John Mackenney, Practice Lead for Digital Strategy at Adobe, and Amanpreet Singh Bajaj, GM for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan at Airbnb set the scene for the panel discussions with keynote presentations on the global state of travel.
"The world is undergoing a revolution in how we live, work and travel. We are seeing that newfound flexibility in working from anywhere is driving longer term stays and workations across the world, including in Indonesia. This is why Airbnb is focused on supporting Bali’s reopening efforts, and we have partnered with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy to promote workations and upskill micro-entrepreneurs. We believe public-private collaboration is key to spur local travel and economic recovery and support safe travel protocols" said Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager for India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, at Airbnb.
The first panel on Data Driven Models for Designing Safe Travel Protocols began with a presentation from Kristen Richmond, Director of Boeing’s Confident Travel Initiative, followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Nyoman Adhiarna, Director of Digital Economy at KOMINFO, and Subhas Menon, Director-General at AAPA.
“As part of its Confident Travel Initiative, Boeing has developed digital tools to help governments – including those across ASEAN – to apply a data-driven, risk-based approach to minimize disease transmission risks between countries from air travel,” said Alex Feldman, president of Boeing Southeast Asia.
The second panel on Interoperability and Mutual Recognition of Digital Health Credentials began with a presentation from Sandeep Makhijani, Watson Health Leader, Asia Pacific at IBM. He was later joined by Mr. Setiaji, Chief of Digital Health Transformation at the Indonesia MOH, and Zhenya Lindgardt, CEO of the Commons Project.
“Congratulations to USABC for organizing the first country level installment of the Travel Reopening Roadshow Series, bringing together the business community, travel ,and Government of Indonesia. IBM is delighted to share our insights on digital health credentials for COVID-19. Collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders and establishing common standards will be key to the rollout of digital health credentials which will to help facilitate the safe return to travel," said Sandeep Makhijani, Watson Health Leader, IBM APAC. "IBM is invested in collaborating with an ecosystem of providers, partners, consortia, and alliances around digital health passes by bringing data, technology, and expertise together.
Finally, the third panel on Trends and Themes Shaping the Post Pandemic Travel Industry began with a presentation from John Mackenney, Practice Lead for Digital Strategy at Adobe. The panel discussion included Mr. Jubilar Paskoro, Deputy-Director for ASEAN Relations at MOTCE; Ramesh Jackson, Area Vice President for Indonesia at Marriott; Mich Goh, Head of Public Policy Southeast Asia at Airbnb; and Michael Parsons, Industry Sector Executive for Travel & Transport at IBM.
The roadshow series comes at a critical juncture, as many ASEAN countries are considering safe and efficient ways to reopen borders. Following this first session in Indonesia, the Council will conduct future roadshow stops in additional ASEAN countries throughout the first half of 2022.