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WTTC partners with IBMATA to promote biometric technology for seamless travel


The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has partnered with the International Border Management and Technologies Association (IBMATA) to promote secure and seamless international travel using new and emerging technology that also enhances border security.

WTTC represents the private sector of travel and tourism. Under its Seamless Traveler Journey vision biometrics work at every touchpoint of the passenger journey to make travelling easier while providing border services with greater security. The first series of pilots in the initiative that were announced last October have all airline security, airport, and border processes performed with the same biometric information. Travel and tourism sector stakeholders, including airlines, airports, hospitality, cruise, car rental, and tour operators will jointly test interconnect technologies in an effort to improve traveler experiences.

With this partnership both organizations have committed to making the best use of new and emerging technology and established border management principles with their respective members to deliver an improved international passenger experience globally across borders.

“Travel & Tourism employs one in ten people on the planet today and over the course of the next 20 years we will witness a doubling of the number of travellers and the creation of as many as 100 million jobs around the world,” commented Gloria Guevara, President and CEO, WTTC. “We have a responsibility to prepare for the future by transforming the traveller experience while increasing security by working together and with governments. Our relationship with IBMATA will help to promote the concept of safe and secure travel across international borders and improved passenger experience.”

“Border Agencies are dealing with more international passengers at their international borders than ever before, against a backdrop of static or declining resources,” added Tony Smith CBE, Chairman of IBMATA. “It is important that they make best use of new and emerging technology to enable them to facilitate the traveller experience for the vast majority of low risk traffic, whilst at the same time maintain safe and secure borders. Our relationship with WTTC will enable us to maximize collaboration between the travel industry, border agencies and technology providers to help us deliver this important function.”

The WTTC has also partnered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to adopt a common approach, exchange information and work together to harmonize the use of biometric standards and interoperability throughout the international travel sector.

In an interview with Biometric Update last year, Guevara said that the will is strong among governments and stakeholders in the travel and tourism sector to implement biometrics. “The question, is how we are going to get there.”

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