WTTC workshop on the seamless traveller

BRUSSELS, 18 November 2019: Seamless travel makes for a popular talking point at travel conferences, but making it a reality for travellers is not proving to be that simple.

The topic came up for airing during a World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) workshop this week that saw public and private sector leaders in travel talking to technology providers to explore models that will turn a vision into a genuine seamless travel journey.

Commenting on the workshop theme, WTTC  said growth is happening so rapidly, infrastructure must keep pace with demand but in many cases, especially aviation, old systems are unable to cope with the demand we see today.”

The workshop tackled issues such as the industry vision for seamless travel, technology and border control, risk management, privacy and biometrics law.

Attending were high-level representatives from the European institutions, the private sector members and partners – AENA, Amadeus, Hilton, Hotelbeds, Idemia, KLM, Melia, MSC Cruises, NEC, NH Hotels, Radisson, Royal Caribbean, SITA, Vision-Box, WorldReachSoftware, among others and Industry organisations such as ACI Europe, CER , IATA, IBMATA

Research from the WTTC shows that four out of five (80%) international travellers from key European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) would be willing to share their photographs with relevant organisations if it meant a smoother travel journey.

With most travellers being low risk, increasing the presence of biometric technology throughout the journey would allow governments to maximise resources and focus on high-risk travellers. This can also aide in easing capacity and unlocking the full economic potential of travel and tourism.

The Seamless Traveller Journey would allow biometric and biographic data to be provided prior to travel, allowing border agencies to authenticate and pre-clear travellers in advance of arrival, thus reducing cumbersome checks and queues at ports and airports.

From a traveller’s perspective, this would present itself as a journey wherein the traveller no longer needs to present travel documents and boarding passes multiple times to a variety of stakeholders at different stages of their journey.