The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has released a report outlining recommendations to governments around the world and identifying key digital solutions to restore international travel. The report calls for an internationally coordinated response to COVID-19 and digital solutions for the travel and tourism sector.
Following World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, the WTTC has identified four of the most widely used digital COVID vaccination certificates (EU Digital COVID Certificate, ICAO Visible Digital Seal, DIVOC, and SMART Health Cards), and urges governments to accept these major international standards as proof of COVID-19 status, while still working towards a single global solution.
The report, Digital Solutions for Reviving International Travel, shows how international travellers, whether fully vaccinated or testing negative, would then have a globally recognised digital COVID certificate that would enable them to travel freely and safely anywhere in the world.
The WTTC finds the current patchwork of policies and processes observed globally not only complex and unsustainable but also a hindrance to the recovery of an already struggling sector.
It thus urges governments to create their own ‘Digital Travel Portal’, allowing travellers to electronically share their digital vaccination or test certificates before they begin their journey.
After booking their trip, travellers would go to the online portal managed by the destination, where their digital certificate would be uploaded, verifying the status online and, in seconds, avoiding confusing processes and long queues.
“We can use the pandemic to leapfrog technologies and allow contactless travel with embedded data on vaccination and testing status,” explains Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO.
Along with the WHO, the report and recommendations also draw on guidance from the International Civil Aviation Organisation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development, and commitments made by governments at the G7 and G20 for solutions to revive safe international travel. – Tourism Update