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WTTC and IATA partner to harmonize biometrics for travel and tourism sector



The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have agreed to adopt a common approach, exchange information and work together to harmonize the use of biometric standards and interoperability throughout the international travel sector.

The IATA is promoting a range of innovations to be considered for airports of the future on behalf of its member airlines, including the One ID initiative. The One ID initiative is IATA’s vision for an “end-to-end passenger experience that is seamless, efficient and secure” and allows passengers to pass through the airport without breaking stride.

The WTTC works with existing initiatives to encourage the use of biometric technology and digital identity throughout the sector under its Seamless Traveler Journey program.

“Biometric technology is essential for the future of travel,” comments WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara. “It can help us make travel more seamless, more efficient and more secure. It improves the existing processes, reduces time for the traveler and will allow the sector to grow. WTTC and IATA are committed to maximize the potential of Travel & Tourism to create jobs and drive economic growth. By working together, we can enhance security and improve the whole passenger journey.”

The IATA estimates the number of annual air passengers will rise from 4 billion to 7.8 billion in the next 20 years, while the UNWTO estimates international arrivals will grow from 1.3 billion to 1.8 billion by 2030. Guevara says meeting that demand for capacity is necessary to create and preserve millions of jobs. She also told transport ministers at the recent International Transport Forum that implementing biometric technologies is a key to handling the growth in global travel.

“The journey thorough the airport is often a frustrating experience,” notes IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. “Passengers have to verify their identity at numerous points across their journey. IATA One ID project is helping 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 realize this vision and today’s agreement with WTTC will act as a strong catalyst for industry change.”

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