WTTC’s Guevara calls biometrics “the future of travel” and regrets no single solution
After missing the opportunity for a single biometric solution, the aviation industry needs to support the International Air Transport Authority’s (IATA’s) biometric One ID initiative and dedicate resources to setting common standards and achieving interoperability, according to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) President and CEO Gloria Guevara, Travel Daily News reports.
“Biometric technology is the future of travel. It’s very simple: the faster we act, the faster we all reap the benefits of growth that accompany the adoption of biometrics – namely increased security, efficiencies and a better traveller journey. We have missed the opportunity to have a single solution; so it is crucial that we move faster to define the global standards for the use of technology in the traveller journey,” Guevara urged attendees at IATA’s Annual General Meeting.
Guevara said that while the number of air travelers expected to double by 2037, physical infrastructure will not. Therefore, the industry needs to avoid working in silos and pursue the common goal of a seamless end-to-end traveler journey across airports, airlines, car rental companies, hotels, booking agents, and other travel ecosystem stakeholders. IATA unanimously resolved to accelerate the adoption of One ID during the AGM.
“Those companies which support and adopt biometrics early will have a competitive advantage in the market, so it’s up to airlines to support IATA in this important task,” according to Guevara.
The WTTC is working with IATA to support the adoption of biometrics by non-aviation travel and tourism companies to facilitate seamless travel. The organization has considered 53 different implementations in six different regions, and found that efforts are fragmented, with competing agendas.
“Governments around the world are waiting for the private sector to align around a common standard and framework that can work across the entire Travel & Tourism sector regardless of the individual technology provider,” Guevara says. “If we end up with multiple solutions in each country that do not connect, the costs will be significant and we risk losing the very benefits which biometric technology will bring.”