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WTTC partners with Aruba for biometric travel trial

WTTC partners with Aruba for biometric travel trial

The World Travel & Tourism Council has partnered with the government of Aruba for a biometric trial.

The pilot is designed to allow travellers move through airports, car rental stations and hotels based on biometric technology alone.

It will be the first ‘air and non-air’ pilot of its kind.

The new trial is an extension of the Aruba Happy Flow, a seamless passenger facilitation programme launched in 2015.

It will enable travellers to move more efficiently, faster and more securely through every part of the travel experience, using biometric technology throughout the entire traveller journey with pilot participants. 

According to the latest WTTC research, the tourism sector contributes 10.4 per cent of global GDP and 319 million jobs to the world.

With an investment in new aviation infrastructure, including runways, terminals and new technologies such as biometrics, WTTC estimates that between 12 million and 31 million additional tourism jobs could be created across the world by 2028.

Due to launch in 2020, the Aruba Happy Flow hotel and car rental extension will allow travellers to trial the application of biometric technology at every stage of the travel process, from arrival, border management, collecting the car rental and checking in at the hotel.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president, commented: “Our Seamless Traveller Journey programme’s vision is that the traveller will no longer need to provide personal information and passport details on multiple occasions.


“Instead, their entire journey will be seamless, faster and more enjoyable throughout.

“Biometrics will work at every touchpoint of the journey to make travelling easier, while providing border services with greater security. 

“We commend the government of Aruba’s commitment and taking advantage of the very latest cutting-edge biometric technology and look forward to supporting their work.

“We call on other governments to take inspiration from Aruba’s efforts and to test the technology already available to see what works best for their needs.”

The Aruba Happy Flow is the result of a cooperation between the government of Aruba, Aruba Airport Authority, KLM, Royal Schiphol Group, the Dutch ministry of justice and security, the Koninklijke Marechaussee and Vision-Box.

Passengers provide their identity only once when travelling, with the data then processed securely, satisfying organisations and governments agencies throughout the journey.

The traveller would then pass through the checkpoints during the journey, using only their facial recognition, making it a completely touch free process.

Evelyna Wever-Croes, prime minister of Aruba, said: “Tourism is important for Aruba and innovation is one of my government’s key policy drivers.

“Aruba is therefore proud to partner with WTTC for this innovative pilot that is crucial for the future of tourism.

“Biometric recognition provides stakeholders in the travel eco system a secure identity check of their passenger, or client or guest.

“The data sharing between the stakeholders enabled by the shared platform is completed securely and accurately.

“The real time and/or advanced information generated makes the processes of all stakeholders more efficient and enhances the service they provide.

“One secure identity check of the passenger, performed under government supervision, is accepted by the other stakeholders.

“At the current Aruba Happy Flow process passengers enrol and check in by presenting a passport and from then on, only need to show their face to pass bag drop, immigration and boarding.”