Safe & Seamless Traveler Journey Program helps in the global fight for the survival of the sector in the coming years
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) presented a new report with global recommendations and guidelines for a Safe & Seamless Traveler Journey related to the identity and safety of travelers in the “new normal”.
Developed in collaboration with Oliver Wyman Consulting Group, and Pangiam as one of the advisors, the report highlights the need for swift action for a focused approach to implementing travelers’ digital identity and biometrics, and enabling strong policies. through the implementation of various activities to support the recovery of the travel and tourism sector.
WTTC’s Safe and Seamless Traveler Travel (SSTJ) aims to enable seamless, secure end-to-end travel, spanning air and / or ground transfers, through an approach to systematic biometric identification verified at each stage of the journey, replacing manual checks.
The WTTC had previously recognized the need for more integrated and contactless technology as an emerging trend in the new face of travel. COVID-19 has become a catalyst for non-contact technologies, which travelers now expect in order to minimize their physical contact with people and surfaces.
According to a recent Amadeus survey, technology and innovation will be key to fostering traveler confidence and the recovery of the industry. This is illustrated as more than four in five (84%) travelers say that technology would increase their confidence to travel in the next 12 months.
Additionally, in a recent WTTC consumer survey, eight out of 10 Americans boarding domestic or international flights said they would be willing to submit biometric data to improve their travel experience.
Based on consultations with more than 350 stakeholders since 2018, the WTTC has developed a clear vision for safe travel, and has defined a roadmap to drive this initiative forward. Such an initiative requires the public and private sectors to come together to drive the changes envisioned by the WTTC, build momentum, and foster adherence to global standards that underpin a supportive policy framework.
The report emphasizes the need for international coordination to remove travel barriers and build traveler confidence, which are critical to the survival of the sector.
To achieve recovery, it is essential to provide certainty to travelers regarding travel restrictions and policies to facilitate domestic and international travel.
WTTC members, other private sector leaders and international organizations identified the following private sector actions:
Adoption of global data standards, building on existing standards, to ensure interoperability across all sectors, including governments
Collaboration between sectors (e.g. airlines, hotels, rail, cruise ships, etc.)
Implement global standardized health and safety protocols across industries and geographies to facilitate a consistent and safe travel experience
Develop and adopt innovative digital technologies that enable seamless travel, better manage visitor flows, and enhance the traveler experience, while making the traveler’s journey safer.
Public-private collaboration is essential to the success of SSTJ. The WTTC developed critical steps governments must take to strengthen international collaboration through facilitation and leadership. Governments, by creating task forces, must continue to invest in biometrics to ensure they are prepared for future crises. Being more resilient will allow the sector and countries to better respond to future risks or shocks.
Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “The new WTTC report comes at a time when Travel & Tourism is struggling to stay afloat. We believe that a safe and risk-free travel for travelers will not only be paramount to help to a rapid recovery of the sector, but also in the configuration of the new normal of this activity in the coming years. ”
He added that the Council recognizes ICAO for supporting the specifications of the Type 1 Digital Travel Credential (DTC), approaching travel based on digital identity one step closer to reality.
“There is no doubt that international coordination is necessary, to facilitate an articulate and clear recovery process. We hope that this, together with our many other guidelines for safe travel, will help lead to greater consumer confidence,” he concluded Guevara.
Sean Donohue, CEO Dallas Fort Worth International Airport said: “DFW Airport is committed to ensuring it is’ Clean. Safe. Set.” for everyone who comes to our facilities. Providing that seamless and enhanced experience means innovative efforts to expand the use of biometric technology, smart bathrooms that provide contactless service and increased disinfection, and going the extra mile to become the first airport in the world to earn the Council’s Star accreditation. Global Biorisk Advisor (GBAC). Our efforts align with the coordinated efforts and commitment of the WTTC to seamless, safe and secure comprehensive travel for all. ”
Dr. Dee K. Waddell, CEO of IBM Travel & Transportation said: “IBM is proud to be a proactive contributor to the global Safe and Seamless Traveler Journey initiative. Digital travel credentials such as identity, biometrics and health certifications are a fundamental part of transforming and emerging even stronger from the devastating impacts of the pandemic. Travel & Tourism is a resilient sector and next-generation technologies will enable a rapid return to growth. ”
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises said: “MSC Cruises very much welcomes this Safe and Seamless Traveler Journey initiative from WTTC. Leveraging technology to improve the movement of guests through the various stages of travel will make our industry more efficient, safer and more flexible. Using this type of technology will enhance the guest experience on MSC Cruises and improve our operations. Where both can be done simultaneously is a winning combination.
“We appreciate that WTTC has undertaken this project for the collective benefit of the travel community”, he said.
Kim Day, CEO Denver International Airport said: “Clearly this pandemic has influenced the way we travel today and in the future. Limiting contact through technology and other changes to enable a more efficient travel experience are more critical than ever. This report offers several recommendations for a safer and smoother travel. Biometric technology and digital identity solutions are a key part of the recovery and future of the travel industry. ”
As one of the fastest growing sectors in 2019, accounting for one in four new jobs created worldwide in the past five years, the slowdown in travel and tourism will have devastating ripple effects beyond the sector itself. , and the latest figures from WTTC suggest that as many as 174 million jobs could be lost in travel and tourism by the end of 2020.
SSTJ will be instrumental in fighting the pandemic and beyond, in preparing for crises, and will accelerate even further. plus the recovery of the travel and tourism sector, the same one on which 330 million people worldwide depend on labor.
The importance of the SSTJ was also recognized by the G20 at the recent ministerial meeting, and all countries gave it their full support and commitment.
Indeed, the benefits of Travel & Tourism extended far beyond its direct impacts in terms of GDP and employment, with indirect benefits throughout the supply chain and interrelations with other sectors, such as agriculture, retail, the arts. and construction, among others.
Unlike many other sectors, Travel & Tourism is highly inclusive, employing and offering opportunities to people from all walks of life, including minorities, youth and women.