Travel and tourism represent one area where the Pearl River Delta region's economic integration is not only inevitable, but also, in some instances, almost complete. Most of Macau's tourists come through Hong Kong. Guangdong tourists account for almost a third of all visitors - and 80 per cent of mainland arrivals - in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Macau tourists are the backbone of Guangdong's travel industry, accounting for more than 70 per cent of all tourist receipts. So it is a welcome sign that leaders from the three areas have met and proposed steps to revive the region's travel industry in the wake of Sars. Each area will appoint an official in charge of Sars-related travel policy and communications, the group will monitor low-cost group tours to ensure that hygiene is not compromised, and tour agencies will be asked to put an employee in charge of Sars-related issues. Considering how important intra-regional travel is, these steps will go some way towards boosting confidence and bringing travellers back on to buses, trains and airport concourses. To the extent that the requirements may place an extra financial burden on smaller tour operators, who may need to train or hire staff to deal with Sars questions, the group should consider making short-term aid available to these operators. This week, travellers on group tours from Guangdong started arriving in Hong Kong and Macau, and fairly soon the reverse will also be true. Thousands in Guangdong and Hong Kong have been signing up for cross-border tours all along, showing that there is pent-up demand and that travel within the delta will surely lead the tourism recovery. Overseas visitors will most certainly follow, though no one should expect the recovery in international travel to happen overnight. The numbers for April were grim, with tourism receipts and hotel occupancies down by two-thirds or more, and May will likely look little better. Now that both the WHO and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have lifted their warnings against unessential travel to the delta, Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong are right to be looking at ways to co-operate on tourism. An initial emphasis on Sars-control measures is appropriate, but the momentum behind this co-operation should continue and expand to cover other ways of working together. The suggestion by Guangzhou's tourism chief earlier this week of multi-city packages would be one place to start. Relaxing - or even dropping - visa requirements for visitors wishing to go between the areas would be another. The interdependence of the tourism industries in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong is borne out by the numbers. Let this connectedness be the basis for a revival, and let it lead us to new ways to present our region to the world.