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Covid-19: WTTC Issues Guidelines for Safe & Seamless Travel in the ‘New Normal’

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global travel & tourism private sector, has released a major report that recommends global guidelines for a safe and seamless traveller journey in the ‘new normal’.

WTTC’s Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey (SSTJ) aims to enable a safe end-to-end traveller experience, encompassing both air and non-air travel, through an approach for systematic biometric verified identification at each stage of the journey, replacing manual verifications.

SSTJ was developed in partnership with Oliver Wyman Consulting Group and Pangiam.

“WTTC’s new report comes at a time when travel & tourism is struggling to stay afloat. We believe that the Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey will not only be paramount in aiding a swift recovery to the sector, but also in shaping the new normal of travel & tourism for years to come. This important initiative enables mobility and increases safety and security, while always putting the passenger at the very centre,” WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara said.

Photo source: WTTC

SSTJ will be critical in combating Covid-19 and beyond for crises preparedness, and will further speed the recovery and bring relief and peace of mind to the 330 million people around the world who depend on a thriving travel & tourism sector.

The importance of SSTJ was also recognised by the G20 at the recent Ministerial meeting, with all countries giving it their full support and commitment.

WTTC had previously recognized the need for more contactless and integrated technology as an emerging trend in the new face of travel. COVID-19 has become a catalyst for touchless technologies, which travelers will now expect in order to minimise their physical contact with people and surfaces.

WTTC members, other private sector leaders and international organisations, identified the following private sector actions:

  • Adopting global data standards, leveraging existing standards, to ensure interoperability across all sectors, including governments
  • Cross sector collaboration (e.g. airlines, hotels, rail, cruise, working together)
  • Implement standardised global health and safety protocols across all industries and geographies to facilitate a consistent and safe travel experience
  • Develop and adopt innovative digital technologies that enable seamless travel, better manage visitor flows, and improve the traveller experience while making the traveller journey safer.


Public-private collaboration is also essential to the success of SSTJ. Governments, through the creation of task forces, should continue investing in biometrics to ensure they are prepared for future crisis.

To see the full report press here.

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