The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is recommending global guidelines related to traveller identity and security to stimulate demand in the recovery from Covid-19 and to prepare the industry for future crises.
WTTC has prepared the report, Global Guidelines for Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey, in partnership with Oliver Wyman Consulting Group and with input from public and private contributors including IATA, SITA, Amadeus and multiple airline, cruise and hospitality brands.
The report says it aims to assist the “establishment of globally interoperable, technology-agnostic, biometric-enabled solutions, which cover the end-to-end traveller journey from booking to trip completion".
This would be done by creating a single digital identity for each traveller, which would contain their biographic data as well as any necessary additional information such as biometric data, loyalty information, credit card details, travel history, proof of immunity or vaccine, etc.
Using biometric-enabled digital identities, the report states, improves accuracy and eliminates the need for multiple manual verifications, which the report says “reduces fraud and allows for the movement of more traveller securely and efficiently through existing infrastructure and easing resource requirements".
Travellers would be able to use their digital identity across their entire journey and access to the data would be controlled by the traveller.
“WTTC’s new report comes at a time when travel and tourism is struggling to stay afloat. We believe that the Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey will not only be paramount in aiding a swift recovery to the sector, but also in shaping the new normal of travel and tourism for years to come. This important initiative enables mobility and increases safety and security, while always putting the passenger at the very center,” says Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO.
“There is no doubt that international coordination is necessary, which is why our guidelines aim to bring clarity to a recovery process that has been disjointed and confused. We hope that this, along with our many other guidelines for Safe Travels, will help usher in further consumer confidence.”
The report calls for the adoption of global data standards, global health and safety protocols and collaboration among airlines, hotels, rail, cruise and governments “to facilitate a consistent and safe travel experience".
“Multilateral collaboration is required to build a framework for contactless travel that considers the entire traveller journey from door to door making it safe and secure though advanced touchless technology,” says Luis Maroto, president and CEO of Amadeus.
“This Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey initiative helps to develop clear testing and tracing practices while leveraging contactless technologies enabling a touchless environment and faster processing, which are key in restarting travel safely.”
Says SITA CEO Barbara Dalibard: “SITA strongly supports the move towards biometric-enabled identity solutions that allows travellers to move securely and easily across every step in their journey while maintaining control of their identity in a fully ethical manner. This is an approach we have long advocated. The benefits of speed, safety and improved security are significant. With the additional benefit of limiting touch and maintaining distance, these digital identity solutions take on new relevance in the Covid era".