The World Travel & Tourism Council and the International Air Transport Association have agreed to partner to achieve the benefits of biometrics and deliver traveller digital identity management throughout the tourism sector for a seamless passenger experience.
The agreement, which was announced on the sidelines of the IATA annual general meeting in Sydney, Australia, will mean that the two organisations will adopt a common approach, exchange information and work together to energise the entire sector to achieve international harmonisation through the use of biometrics standards and interoperability.
IATA, on behalf of its member airlines, is promoting a range of innovations to be considered for airports of the future, including the One iD initiative - IATA’s vision of an “end-to-end passenger experience that is seamless, efficient and secure” which aims at offering passengers a frictionless airport process allowing the possibility to walk through the airport without breaking stride.
Likewise, WTTC, through its Seamless Traveller Journey programme, is committed to working with the existing initiatives in this area to encourage the use of biometric technology and digital identity throughout the wider tourism sector so travellers can enjoy a seamless, secure and efficient end-to-end journey.
Gloria Guevara, president, World Travel & Tourism Council, said: “Biometric technology is essential for the future of travel.
“It can help us make travel more seamless, more efficient and more secure.
“It improves the existing processes, reduces time for the traveller and will allow the sector to grow.
“WTTC and IATA are committed to maximize the potential of tourism to create jobs and drive economic growth.
“By working together we can enhance security and improve the whole passenger journey.”
IATA is forecasting a rise from four billion annual air passengers now to 7.8 billion over the next twenty years, and UNWTO estimates global international arrivals to rise from 1.3 to 1.8 billion by 2030.
“The traveller experience has to improve if we want to achieve the growth potential.
“Last year one of every five jobs created in the world were in our sector, if we don’t use biometrics technology to improve the processes, we are not going to be able to achieve the potential of tourism.
“Millions of jobs are at stake, so this is a priority for WTTC and our members,” added Guevara.