IATA Travel Pass to Ensure Safe International Travel
The world is going through tough times as border restrictions are imposed, and aviation and travel industries are impacted. COVID 19 has changed the way we travel, with health-related prerequisites, including tests and vaccine, being mandated before taking that next flight. Organisations like the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Amadeus are trying to route back to a safer way to travel, leveraging technology to make journeys safer, processes quicker, and the overall experience seamless. IATA is the safety regulatory body for all airlines worldwide. Border restrictions, however, are decided by the governments of each of the countries.
IATA is in the development phase of an IATA travel pass that is intended at allowing travelers to travel safe, while securely managing their COVID test results and vaccine information. How does it work?
The travel pass enables passengers to use the digital version of the passport on their mobile phones. It provides for updating test and vaccine certificates and adding flight details. Once all the required information is included, the travel pass app auto-displays health requirements for the specified destination. If an additional test is mandated at the intended destination, a list of verified testing labs at the location of departure is displayed. Once the test is conducted, a digital ID is confirmed, and the test results are sent to the app by the testing lab. If all the health prerequisites set by the destination county are met, the app indicates the passenger’s readiness to fly. The option to e-check-in from the mobile device is also available to save time before boarding the flight. All in-app information collected and stored is encrypted, ensuring data privacy and security.
Travellers Support Digital Health Passport
An international study commissioned by Amadeus and delivered in India by Censuswide found that 93% of Indian travellers were comfortable using a digital health passport for future trips, with 47% expressing willingness to travel within six months of lifting cross border restrictions. Among 1000 respondents surveyed, 79% were willing to store information digitally if it could help them travel sooner and with greater safety, although 34% were worried about data security risks and 28% were concerned about the lack of transparency in handling data.
Earlier this year in April, Emirates became the latest airline to adopt the IATA travel pass health passport on its Dubai - Barcelona flight. Passengers were able to verify their COVID 19 status, including their vaccine certificate and test result as well as other destination-related COVID-19 information.
IATA Collaboration on Destination Tracker
The World Tourism Organization (WTO) and IATA have announced a Destination Tracker in the run-up to the tourism sector reopening. The Destination Tracker is a new free online tool for governments to provide information on COVID-19 requirements for travel and the measures in place at the destinations.
This tool will provide information on COVID 19 Indicators, such as the infection rate, active cases, and vaccination roll out by the destination countries, the air travel regulations, including tests and quarantine requirements, as well as destination measure, such as safety requirements, curfew or regulations related to restaurants, and attractions provided by national tourism.
While governments can use this application to provide key information to inbound passengers, it can help destination management companies and travel agents reassure travellers by helping with informed decision making.