Project Title

Developing Traveler-Friendly Airports to Improve the Passenger Experience in the APEC Region 

Project Year

2015   

Project Number

TWG 01 2015 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

TWG 01 2015 

Project Title

Developing Traveler-Friendly Airports to Improve the Passenger Experience in the APEC Region 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

General Project Account 

Sub-fund

None 

Project Year

2015 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

60,000 

Co-funding Amount

95,000 

Total Project Value

155,000 

Sponsoring Forum

Tourism Working Group (TWG) 

Topics

Tourism 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

United States 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Mexico; Philippines; Thailand 

Expected Start Date

01/07/2015 

Expected Completion Date

15/09/2016 

Project Proponent Name 1

Jennifer Aguinaga 

Job Title 1

Senior Policy Analyst 

Organization 1

US Department of Commerce, National Travel and Tourism Office 

Postal Address 1

1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Room 10003, Washington, DC 20230 

Telephone 1

1-202 4822404 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

Jennifer.Aguinaga@trade.gov 

Project Proponent Name 2

Nadira Mailewa 

Job Title 2

Economic and Human Security Specialist 

Organization 2

US-ATAARI 

Postal Address 2

35 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Singapore 119616 

Telephone 2

65-68919657 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

nmailewa@nathaninc.com 

Declaration

Jennifer Aguinaga and Naidra Mailewa 

Project Summary

The movement of travelers across the Asia-Pacific region for business and leisure is vital to economic growth, as stated in the APEC Travel Facilitation Initiative (TFI) and the 2012 Leader’s declaration. Traveler-friendly airports, falling under the Airport Partnership Program element of the TFI, would allow pilot economies to lead the implementation of a partnership in which government and private sector stakeholders work with individual airports to showcase best practices for creating a welcoming airport environment. The airport is an instrument of hospitality, yet inefficient and stressful entry and exit processes create an uncomfortable experience. Security and hospitality do not have to be opposed. The expected outcome of the project is the development of best practices and recommendations that, if implemented by airports, will improve the travel experience for passengers as well as overall airport operations. The project would culminate in a conference to share these best practices and the recommendations for implementing these practices across the region.  The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) will be actively engaged in the project, bringing airport and other private sector members with interests in airports, such as car rental, duty free, hotels, and airlines to inform the study.  Airport Council International and IATA will also support and be engaged in the project.

Relevance

Relevance - Benefits to Region: Reaffirming the APEC Travel Facilitation Initiative (TFI), in 2012 APEC Leaders recognized the significance of travel and tourism as a vehicle for job creation, economic growth and development. Tourism represents a special case of cross-border supply chains where a variety of services are supplied to meet the requirements of increasing international traveler flows. The region represents the world’s biggest passenger aviation market. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Asia-Pacific passenger traffic is forecast to grow at 5.7%, with the region expected to add around 300 million additional passengers by the end of 2017. Traffic within the Asia-Pacific region will represent 31.7% of global passengers in 2017, up from 28.2% in 2012. IATA also predicts that the number of air travelers around the world will grow from 2.4 billion in 2010 to 16 billion by 2050, with much of this growth expected to occur in the Asia-Pacific region. The APEC region is home to some of the world’s busiest airports. ACI statistics ranked 38 airports in the APEC region in the top 50 by account of passenger movement.

Given the growing economic importance of travel and projected increases in traveler volume in the region, APEC has undertaken the TFI to expedite the flow of large numbers of people, including efforts to expedite departures and arrivals for international passengers at ports of entry. For a traveler, the airport is a gateway, creates a first impression, and is an economic and cultural showcase.  It is an instrument of hospitality, yet stressful entry processes create an uncomfortable experience. In many airports across the region, there is a lack of overall airport efficiency and processing which affects leisure and business travelers, including long security and immigration lines.  The expected outcome of the project is the development of best practices and recommendations that, if implemented by airports, will improve the travel experience for passengers as well as overall airport operation.

The traveler-friendly airport project, which falls under the Airport Partnership Program element of the TFI, would take a pathfinder approach, with several pilot economies leading the implementation of a partnership/cooperation in which government and private sector stakeholders work with individual airports to highlight best practices for creating a welcoming environment and developing APEC region aspirational standards and/or goals to enhance the visitor experience. Efficient processing of travelers would create a positive first impression of the APEC region and a more satisfying experience for travelers.

Relevance – Rank: This project falls under Rank 1 in multiple categories: Trade Facilitation and Liberalization; Services Trade  and Investment Facilitation and Liberalization; Connectivity, including the implementation of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint on enhancing physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity; and Travel facilitation for enhancing mobility.

Objectives

The specific objectives of the project are to:

a) Share best practices that contribute to creating a traveler-friendly airport and develop recommendations for implementing these practices across the Asia-Pacific region.

b) Develop an aspirational standard/goal for APEC airports, including, for example, entry/exit metrics and other traveler-friendly best practices.

c) Improve both the travel experience for passengers from the time they arrive at the airport as well as overall airport operation through the use of technological advancements (such as trusted traveler programs, Automated Passport Control and API/PNR of air traveler utilization) which could reduce wait times while maintaining and enhancing security.

d) Improve perception of destinations to increase travel to and within the Asia-Pacific region.  For example, a traveler-friendly airport will create a positive image of the destination itself and therefor increase travel and repeat travel to the destination and the region as a whole. In some cases, a comfortable airport can become a transit destination itself.

Alignment

This project responds to APEC’s priorities of promoting economic growth through expediting the movement of travelers across the Asia Pacific region for business and leisure. Specifically, the project seeks to implement the overarching goal of the APEC Travel Facilitation Initiative, which is an APEC cross cutting multi-year activity that was endorsed by Leaders in 2011 to expedite the movement of travelers in the Asia Pacific Region. This would be the first project undertaken under the Airport Partnership Program pillar of the TFI, which aims to establish a comprehensive, coordinated program over the medium long term where a broad range of experts work with airports in the region to showcase best practices and build capacity on the processing of travelers arriving and departing.

The project is aligned with other policy frameworks specific to the TWG which include:

a) The TWG Strategic Plan:  This project supports the fourth strategic priority of the APEC Tourism Strategic Plan: Promote efficiency and regional economic integration through policy alignment and structural reform, which includes facilitating access and connectivity (air transport, infrastructure, etc.), addressing opportunities for cross-border tourism flows, and facilitating investment in tourism infrastructure and destinations.

b) The TWG Workplan: This project supports the theme of the TWG 2014 work plan “Promoting connectivity and travel facilitation to stimulate tourism growth in the Asia-Pacific Region,” and is included in the TWG work plan for 2015, which was just endorsed at the 46th TWG meeting in Boracay.  The TWG has already shown great interest in creating traveler-friendly airports, and this project will help to forward the work of the TWG on this subject.

This project is also strongly aligned with the directions of the Macau Declaration, where APEC Tourism Ministers encouraged the TWG to continue to implement the TFI and work to make travel more accessible, convenient and efficient while maintaining and enhancing secure travel. In addition, the development of traveler-friendly airports was noted as a priority at the High Level Policy Dialogue on Travel Facilitation that took place in Bali on October 1, 2013 which states that: “We supported the commitment of APEC economies to develop Traveler Friendly Airports, by promoting locality, uniqueness, and authenticity of the destination within the region, as part of the Airport Partnership Program, and urged the Transportation Working Group and Tourism Working Group to collaborate on this endeavor.”

The project also contributes to the delivery of the broader APEC Connectivity agenda by improving physical connectivity

TILF/ASF Justification

As noted above, this project responds to APEC’s broader priorities of promoting economic growth through expediting the movement of travelers across the Asia Pacific region for business and leisure. Tourism is now one of the world’s fastest growing economic sectors and, for many APEC developing economies, tourism is an engine for growth. The sector is seen as a key vehicle for promoting regional development, as it stimulates new economic activities and job creation, and can thus have a positive impact on economic growth and development in the Asia-Pacific. In addition, travel and tourism also promotes people to people connectivity. Therefore, efforts need to be made to effectively harness the benefits and growth opportunities that the sector offers, particularly by those developing economies that have a high reliance on tourism related industries. This can be done by addressing existing barriers and impediments that limit economies from more actively participating in the sector.

The project’s aims of building sustainable partnerships between government experts and private sector stakeholders to showcase best practices, new technologies and build capacities of airports in the region to promote efficient, more secure and less stressful travel, will directly assist those developing economies that require capacity building assistance in creating welcoming airport environments and improving the overall quality and efficiency of processing of in-coming and out-going travelers. Developing economies will benefit from sharing best practices and lessons learned, be exposed to new and efficient technologies that have been tried and tested in other environments and gain from networking, knowledge and skills transfers by engaging with private and public sector personnel from other economies. 

Developing economies will also play a key role in the planning and implementation of this project. Three of the co-sponsors of the project -- Mexico, the Philippines and Thailand - are APEC developing economies that will bring to the table the specific views and needs of developing economies in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in terms of specific capacity building requirements to promote traveler friendly airports. Additionally, the proposed conference will be open to all APEC economies, and this will provide opportunities to share experiences and build useful networks between industry and government that will enable future areas of cooperation and capacity building.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: The main deliverables and outputs of the project include the following:

a) The selection and identification of a group of pilot airports in the Asia Pacific region (may contain both developed and less developed airports). The selection would be done on a consultative basis with TWG members. The target is to include six airports in the pilot.

b) Report on the pilot study of selected airports – this will contain information on best practices in facilitating less stressful travel and lessons learned, which can be developed as models for travel friendly airports in the region and inform specific capacity building needs.

c) One-day Conference to discuss the findings of the pilot and develop appropriate aspirational targets for APEC airports to promote traveler friendly airports.

Outcomes: One of the main outcomes expected to result from the project is improved knowledge, skills and understanding by industry personnel (project participants) of what is needed to service their specific industries and the market in creating travel-friendly airports in the Asia Pacific region, which will ultimately result in enhancing the tourism quality experience for travelers and in overcoming supply side limitations.

We anticipate that in the longer term, the project will result in economy level policy initiatives and recommendations as well as concrete improvements to existing economy level systems and processes which will support the creation of enabling environments to promote travel facilitation. In terms of tangible outcomes, the project is expected to achieve consensus on targets or goals for airports in the region in terms of entry/exit metrics and other travel-friendly best practices. Other anticipated outcomes include the use of specific technological advancements such as approaches already discussed or used within the APEC context, such as the Trusted Traveler Program, the ABTC and Automated Passport Control systems which can expedite processing of travelers.

Beneficiaries: The direct beneficiaries and the main users of the outputs would include APEC members who participate in the event (as experts, policy makers and practitioners from both industry/private sector and government), who are directly involved in tourism related industries. Given that the tourism industry is private sector driven and comprised of mostly small to medium enterprises, participation in the activity will involve a good range and mix of both private and public sector representatives from APEC economies. Participant selection would be based on sourcing nominations of appropriate personnel that are directly engaged in tourism related businesses or policy development in APEC economies.  It is anticipated that the knowledge and skills of participants will be enhanced through their involvement in this activity. It is anticipated that the project will target mid-level government officers of key ministries and agencies in the region (Ministries/Departments of Tourism) directly involved in developing policies and programs that aim to promote traveler friendly airports. Private sector participants will include representatives from key industry bodies such as WTTC, IATA, WCO, ICAO etc. The POs will seek nominations from these organizations and specify the need to target those that are directly engaged in operational aspects of airports. Due consideration will be given to ensuring that a good balance will be maintained between government level and private sector participants.

Indirect beneficiaries include passengers (both business and leisure travelers) who stand to directly benefit from the project through the travel facilitation, including easier, more efficient and less stressful processes and travel-friendly airport environments. In addition, it is anticipated that by actively incorporating gender considerations in developing appropriate travel friendly airport spaces, the specific needs of women travelers will be met. 

Private sector representatives, such as transportation providers (airline operators), also stand to gain from the project in terms of operational and cost efficiencies obtained through streamlined procedures. For facility operators (airport operators), this would also result in the more cost effective use of infrastructure.

Dissemination

Dissemination of the project outputs will be in electronic form and, as per standard APEC practice, made available on the MDDB. The project related deliverables, such as presentation materials and reports, will be made available to all participants and, for those stakeholders who are unable to attend the conference, all materials will be uploaded on to the APEC website. The POs will examine ways of promoting the dissemination of project outputs more broadly by leveraging the networks of the various external agencies and industry/sectoral bodies involved in this project. This includes WTTC, IATA etc. It will be likely that there will be opportunities to highlight the project outcomes (including the conference) in relevant industry publications; however the specific details of this will not be known until the preparations for the conference are underway and project is under implementation.

The target audience will be tourism industry representatives, airport operators (private sector) and public sector participants from APEC economies involved in policy making. 

There is no intention of selling outputs arising from the project and all outputs will be compliant with APEC publications guidelines, logo requirements etc.

Gender

The active participation and engagement of women will be promoted at all stages of the project and a conducive environment will be created during project planning and implementation stages to enable the effective representation of the views of both men and women. Specifically, the views and involvement of key women in the tourism industry will be sought and efforts will be made to ensure that there are female subject matter experts selected for the event. When nominations are sought from economies, due consideration will be placed on ensuring that there are no gender biases in selection of participants from economies and that there are sufficient numbers of women nominated for the event. Sex aggregated data will be used where available/possible to inform the project.

As female travelers make up a significant proportion of both business and leisure travelers, the project will ensure that gender concerns are taken into careful consideration when developing approaches for APEC traveler friendly airports. It is anticipated that improving systems to expedite the processing of in-coming and out-going passengers will particularly benefit women traveling with young children.

The project is currently managed by a team of females (including the two POs) and this ensures that gender considerations are taken into careful consideration during all stages of the project.

Work Plan

Activity/Task

Timing

Responsibility

Output

Project Plan and funding confirmed

Early Jul 2015

BMC/APEC Secretariat

Approved Project Proposal

Consultant selection process

Mid Jul 2015

PO

Consultant appointed/Contracted

Scoping work with consultant (this will be undertaken in close consultation with TWG members

Aug 2015

PO

Outline of study plan approved/completed

Pilot airports identified and discussed.

The identification of airports for the Pilot will be done in close consultation with members

Nov 2015

Consultant

Pilot airports selected through a consultative process

Analysis and pilot completed

Dec 2015

Consultant

Analysis completed

Preliminary draft report prepared

Dec 2015

Consultant/PO

Draft report completed and circulated to members

Conference planning and preparations for the conference

May - Jun 2016

PO

Agenda drafted, venue selected

Invites sent out seeking nominations.

Experts will also be selected in close consultation with WTTC and IATA.,

Jun 2016

PO

Invites sent

Conference held (possibly on the margin s of TWG49 - venue to be confirmed)

Aug/Sep 2016

PO

Conference completed

Final Report drafted and circulated

Aug/Sep 2016

Consultant/PO

Final Report

While the table above provides some basic information on the roles and responsibilities in implementing the project, it is anticipated that all member economies, particularly the co-sponsoring economies, will be actively engaged in the planning stages of the project as well as in assessing key project outputs, including reports.

In addition, as a key stakeholder in this project, the WTTC will take a leading role in the project, bringing the private sector perspective to the approach of developing traveler friendly airports. Views of key private sector stakeholders (which may include airport operators, private rental car providers, duty free retailers, hoteliers, airline operators, shop owners etc.) will be taken into account during the analytical phase. In addition, multilateral agencies involved in this space, including the WCO, IATA and ICAO, will also be engaged as experts.

Risks

The following are some potential risks that would need to be appropriately managed and mitigated:

1) Inability to identify pilot airports for the study – this will be managed by actively engaging with members during all stages of the project to ensure that there is continued interest and buy-in by all APEC members.

2) Questionable standards/quality of outputs – this can be managed by ensuring that the consultant has clear terms of reference for the study and that expectations on quality and standards are communicated prior to the commencement of the work.

3)  Lack of interest in conference – This will be managed by engaging TWG members (and other related fora) continuously throughout the different stages of the project.

4) Lack of experts/quality speakers – This risk will be managed by contacting speakers early and also actively engaging multilateral organizations (WTTC/IATA/WCO/ICAO) in seeking nominations with the appropriate skills and experience.

5) Economies not adopting the recommendations from the study – The goal of the project is to highlight best practices in promoting traveler friendly airports, with the goal that current and future airports in the APEC region will consider adopting these practices to create a more traveler friendly network of airports in the APEC region. However, each economy will have to consider independently whether it is able to adopt these recommendations. The results and recommendations of the project will be discussed in detail within the forum and to encourage members to return to their economies and promote these recommendations. In accordance with the APEC pathfinder approach and APEC principles and practices, interested economies that require capacity building assistance to implement the recommendations, will be duly supported.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Firstly, to assess any improvements or increases to participants’ knowledge and appreciation of the subject matter, a brief self-assessment sheet would be circulated for participants’ input at the start of the conference. This would be followed up by a survey (upon completion of the activity) to gauge improvements in knowledge and skills as a direct result of the project. This will be done with a simple 1-10 self-knowledge rating scale. To assess the extent to which the project is directly responsible for changes in policy initiatives or recommendations in specific economies, follow up surveys will be undertaken (six-nine months after completion) to also assess any flow on benefits and knowledge transfers from this project. To ensure that capacity building benefits are well targeted, economies will be encouraged to nominate participants for the conference who are working in the relevant areas (as experts, policy makers or practitioners). As the conference will likely take place on the margin of a TWG meeting, it is expected that the majority of economies will participate (the TWG typically has an average of 17 economies participate in its meetings, depending on location). The expected number of participants will be 75-100. 

As noted above, this project is the first project to be implemented under the broader TFI Airport Partnership Program (Pillar 1). A mid-term review of the TFI will be undertaken in June – August 2015 to assess progress under each of the TFI components, including the Airport Partnership pillar. This assessment will involve developing appropriate indicators and baseline information through which to measure success of the overall initiative. A final TFI impact assessment is scheduled for 2017 and it is anticipated that this activity will be assessed in the overall impacts of the multi-year TFI, including the work done under each of its pillars.

Linkages

Cross Fora Collaboration:  This project falls under the multi-year APEC TFI Airport Partnership Program pillar. The TFI includes six pillars: Airport Partnership Program, APEC Business Travel Card, Trusted Traveler Program, Air Passenger Security Screening, Advance Passenger Information and Checked Baggage Facilitation.  The TFI reflects a strong approach to promoting effective cross fora collaboration, as it engages five APEC fora in implementing the initiative: BMG, TPTWG, SCCP, TWG and the CTWG.

Specifically, TWG will engage with the TPTWG on this project, particularly in the areas of passenger screening and baggage handling. The TWG also expects to engage with the BMG on topics related to immigration and entry processing, as programs like trusted traveler and the APEC Business Travel Card can help to enhance the traveler experience. In this context, the project is a good example of building on the work progressed under other areas of APEC and promotes cross fora collaboration. Finally, the project will build on the work progressed under the TWG project TWG 01 2011A, which identified travel facilitation as a key opportunity for APEC economies.

APEC’s Comparative Advantage: APEC’s voluntary, non-binding structure, as well as its capacity building focus through its ECOTECH agenda, provides a non-threatening and conducive environment to share ideas and to promote a pathfinder approach as proposed under this project.

Sustainability

As this project comes under the umbrella of the broader TFI, follow-up initiatives under the Airport Partnership Program element will be supported through the TFI multi-year plan. To the extent possible, the PO will endeavor to engage the same participants in all follow up activities.  As noted earlier, a mid- term review of the TFI is planned for this year (note that the approach and methodology are being developed) and a follow up assessment scheduled for 2017. Any gaps in implementation, support needed for beneficiaries to carry forward results and lessons from the project and future actions will be developed as part of this broader assessment. The engagement of the private sector and multilateral organizations, such as IATA, WCO, ICAO and WTTC, will also assist in leveraging the benefits of this project to ensure sustainability and future funding.

Project Overseers

Jennifer Aguinaga is a senior policy analyst at the National Travel and Tourism office of the U.S Department of Commerce. Nadira Mailewa is the Economic and Human Security Specialist working for the US-ATAARI project. Both POs are experienced project managers and have a sound appreciation of APEC as well as specific issues relating to the implementation of the APEC goals of promoting travel facilitation and connectivity.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

The consultant who will undertake this work will be supported under the self-funded component of the budget. A small portion of the consultant travel costs and other reimbursables will be charged under the APEC Budget.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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