WTTC and IATA share travel goals

SYDNEY, 5 June 2018: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have sealed a partnership to improve the adoption of biometrics in travel.

The two leading organisations representing airlines and the tourism industry say it will help to introduce a seamless passenger experience.

The agreement, which was announced on the sidelines of the IATA AGM in Sydney, Australia, on Monday, will see the two organisations adopt a common approach and exchange information to introduce biometrics standards.

IATA is looking at the airports experience, including the One iD initiative – IATA’s vision of an “end-to-end passenger experience that is seamless and secure.

IATA claims that success would offer passengers a frictionless airport process allowing the possibility to walk through the airport without breaking stride.

WTTC, through its Seamless Traveller Journey programme, is encouraging the use of biometric technology and digital identity throughout the wider travel and tourism sector so travellers can enjoy a seamless, secure and efficient end-to-end journey.

World Travel & Tourism Council president and CEO, Gloria Guevara said: “Biometric technology is essential for the future of travel. It can help us make travel more seamless, more efficient and more secure… By working together we can enhance security and improve the whole passenger journey.”

IATA is forecasting a rise from 4 billion annual air passengers now to 7.8 billion over the next 20 years, and UNWTO estimates global international arrivals will rise from 1.3 to 1.8 billion by 2030.

IATA director general and CEO,  Alexandre de Juniac said: “The journey thorough the airport is often a frustrating experience. Passengers have to verify their identity at numerous points across their journey. IATA One iD project will help the industry rapidly move towards the day when a face, iris or fingerprint will act as a single biometric travel token. Partnerships are key to help realise this vision and today’s agreement with WTTC will act as a strong catalyst for industry change.”

Their comments have to be taken against the backdrop of an increase in terror attacks, worldwide, which has resulted in an increase in security checks.

Rather than smoothing the travel journey, airports are turning into security bottlenecks, where there are more delays than ever. It remains to be seen if this joint effort will improve the travel experience for passengers.