LONDON, 18 January 2018: Implementation of biometric technology to facilitate secure borders is the single biggest opportunity for the travel and tourism sector in 2018, according to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), president and CEO, Gloria Guevara Manzo.
Guevara also highlighted the importance of developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning, virtual and augmented reality and changing demographics.
She emphasised particularly the ‘coming of age’ of millennials and the growth of Generation Z, for travel and tourism.
Speaking at the 9th Exceltur Tourism Leadership Forum in Madrid, Spain, Guevara said, “Biometric technology has been evolving over many years and we have seen gradual implementation across the sector for some time. However, in order for the step change which needs to happen to improve security and create jobs through increased tourism flows, there is an urgent need to speed up implementation.
“The resolution of the UN Security Council at the end of 2017, which mandates all governments to employ biometric security for counter terrorism activity provides an excellent opportunity for all stakeholders to come together. In line with the work ICAO has been doing over many years, the travel and tourism sector needs to work with governments and security agencies to agree a standard approach which can be deployed across the travel and tourism system.
“This will take a huge effort of collaboration with considerable challenges to be overcome, particularly around the security and sharing of data, and privacy issues. However, I believe that now is the time to come together so that, while ensuring our world is secure, people around the world can continue to enjoy the personal, social and economic benefits of travelling,” she concluded.