The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) will be working together on a new venture. This partnership aims to help shape the future of how we travel. This will be done by utilising digital traveller identity management throughout the tourism sector, reports Breaking Travel News.

WTTC and WEF want to establish certain standards

The agreement will witness WTTC and WEF collaborating and working together to achieve international harmonisation through the use of standards and inter-operability. This will be implemented across different parts of the tourism journey. Both organisations are striving towards increasing the use of biometric-enabled technology. They hope that the technology will increase both passenger efficiency and improve border security.

WEF has begun an initiative titled The Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI) project. This project brings together a global consortium of individuals, governments, authorities and the travel industry to improve security in world travel.

Fingerprint scannerBiometric technology is the way ahead for the tourism sector

The concept of using biometric technology has already been taken up in some countries. In January 2018, the governments of Canada and the Netherlands committed to piloting the concept in an international cross-border context. This was done in collaboration with several airlines. Air Canada, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Toronto Pearson International Airport and Montréal-Trudeau International Airport were all involved.

The KTDI pilot consortium was officially launched this week. Testing of the enabling technology will start during the course of 2019.

WTTC, which represents the global private tourism sector, wants to work with existing initiatives. They are committed to encouraging the use of biometric technology and digital identity throughout the wider sector. WTTC has also begun a Seamless Traveller Journey programme. Through this, it has researched over 53 initiatives using biometrics in the tourism sector. This research has helped identify potential emerging models which may address the end-to-end traveller journey of the future.

WTTC president believes more jobs will be created due to the new initiative

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president, said: “Our data shows that tourism contributes 10.4 per cent of global GDP and 319 million jobs. One in five of all new jobs on the planet are being created by tourism and we forecast that 100 million jobs will be created by our sector in the next ten years.”

She added, “The key, therefore, is to maximise the growth in a way that ensures safe and hassle-free travel by using biometric technology. The challenge is to align ourselves – in the way we are announcing today – so that all parts of the sector work on same standards and make sure the different solutions can work together.”

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