WTTC, IATA team up to unlock biometric benefits in travel

Working towards the day when a face, iris or fingerprint can act as a single biometric travel token

WTTC and IATA are partnering to achieve the benefits of biometrics and deliver traveller digital identity management throughout the travel and tourism sector.

The agreement, which was announced on the sidelines of the IATA AGM in Sydney earlier this week, will see the two organisations joining forces to adopt a common approach, exchange information and work together to energise the entire sector to achieve international harmonisation through the use of biometrics standards and inter-operability.

Working towards the day when a face, iris or fingerprint can act as a single biometric travel token

IATA, on behalf of its member airlines, is promoting a range of innovations to be considered for airports of the future. This includes the One ID initiative – IATA’s vision of an “end-to-end passenger experience that is seamless, efficient and secure”.

Likewise, WTTC, through its Seamless Traveller Journey programme, is committed to working with the existing initiatives in this area to encourage the use of biometric technology and digital identity throughout the wider sector.

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “The journey thorough the airport is often a frustrating experience. 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 realise this vision and today’s agreement with WTTC will act as a strong catalyst for industry change.”

IATA is forecasting a rise from four billion annual air passengers now to 7.8 billion over the next twenty years, and UNWTO estimates global international arrivals to rise from 1.3 to 1.8 billion by 2030.

Gloria Guevara, president and CEO, WTTC, commented: “The traveller experience has to improve if we want to achieve the growth potential. Last year one of every five jobs created in the world were in our sector. If we don’t use biometrics technology to improve the processes, we are not going to be able to achieve the potential of travel & tourism. Millions of jobs are at stake, so this is a priority for WTTC and our members.

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