Thursday,  June 30, 2022  6:54 pm

“Digital travel portal” would allow stress-free travel, reduce airport delays: WTTC

  • Buzz
  •   05-24-2022  7:04 am
  •   Pax Global Media

“Digital travel portal” would allow stress-free travel, reduce airport delays: WTTC
“Implementing a Digital Travel Portal" gives a blueprint to governments for developing a standardized system for conducting traveller health checks. (Rido/Shutterstock)
Pax Global Media

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has a published a new report on best practices for creating stress-free and seamless travel experiences at airports using digital solutions.

“Implementing a Digital Travel Portal,” created by WTTC and The Commons Project Foundation, gives a blueprint to governments for developing a standardized system for conducting traveller health checks.

It comes as the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted just how uncoordinated governments were when a patchwork of digital and paper requirements were introduced.

The report offers solutions to governments not only on how to implement a Digital Travel Portal not only during COVID, but during any future health crises that threaten economies and global travel and tourism, by ensuring health checks are based on the individual, prior to travelling, to achieve a seamless journey.

The portal would enable travellers to electronically share, for example, their digital COVID vaccination status, or any other required documentation, before they begin their journey.

Once booked, travellers would simply visit the online portal managed by the destination, where their documentation would be uploaded, verifying in seconds their status.

The data can also be combined with other standard security and visa requirements.

“Over the past two years, governments reached for their own solutions to halt the pandemic by restricting travel, but the result was chaos. Chaos for the confused traveller and chaos for economies with the loss of 62 million jobs worldwide in 2020,” said Julia Simpson, WTTC president and CEO.

“…If we ever face another pandemic, we must do a better job. People should be allowed to travel based on their individual health status by using a one-stop government digital platform before they start their journey."

“Governments talk about resilience post COVID. By investing in this system now, governments and their economies will be better protected against any future pandemics.”

Recommendations

The report offers 12 recommendations as general best practice principles to be applied to the whole Digital Travel Portal: privacy by design and default, compliance with data protection and privacy laws, language capability, 24x7 communication, and legal path in case of disputes, amongst others.

The report also provides five recommendations related to specific features and functionalities considered to be critical for an effective portal, providing health security and an efficient experience, such as traveller questionnaire, and government integration, amongst others.

For countries still requiring COVID status checks of travellers, the report offers best practice advice for collecting and analyzing traveller health status information pre-travel and digitally connecting the output with travel operators, reducing traveller anxiety and burden at airports

For countries that have removed COVID status checks, this report also provides a resilience and preparedness tool for the next pandemic, or other major incident, with best practice advice on how to efficiently collect and process digital health traveller information before their journey.

Lastly, Digital Travel Portals could also be integrated with other government services, such as visa application processes, to provide an efficient digital one-stop-shop for governments and travellers.

To read the WTTC's report, click here. 


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