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WTTC Calls for Common Digital Portal for Safe and Stress-free Travel

Photo source: WTTC

Photo source: WTTC

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has called for a simple one-stop digital solution to replace multitude of paper and QR codes, something it deems “critical” as travel returns.

“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 WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson.

The WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, has published a new report with guidance on how to create a common ‘Digital Travel Portal’ that governments can adopt and join up at an international level.

The report gives a blueprint to governments on how to implement a single digital travel solution not only during COVID, but during any future health crises that threaten economies and global Travel & Tourism, by ensuring health checks are based on the individual, prior to travelling, to achieve a seamless journey.

“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,” Simpson said.

How the Digital Travel Portal would work

The portal proposed by the WTTC would enable travellers to electronically share, for instance, 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.

According to the WTTC, the common ‘Digital Travel Portal’ will allow safe and stress-free travel.

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

Photo source: European Commission

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, 24×7 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.

The WTTC’s report for the creation of a common ‘Digital Travel Portal’ can be found here.

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