WTTC invites transport ministers to partner with tourism sector to implement biometrics to make travel more efficient and secure

The World Travel & Tourism Council invited transport ministers attending last week’s annual International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany, to partner with the tourism sector to implement biometrics to make travel more efficient and secure.


Summary:

  • The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) calls on global transport ministers to partner with the tourism sector to implement biometrics to make travel more efficient and secure;
  • WTTC president & CEO Gloria Guevara Manzo says  technology “is the key” to meet an expected growth in global demand more securely and efficiently using what ultimately is a finite resource of infrastructure, and that “biometrics is a solution” which is already being successfully used around the world;
  • Travel and Tourism generates 10.4% of the world’s GDP and creates 313 million jobs, says WTTC.  IATA is forecasting a rise from 4 billion annual passengers now to 7.8 billion over the next ten years, while UNWTO estimates global international arrivals to rise from 1.3 to 1.8 billion by 2030; 
  • WTTC is calling for a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors to maximise tourism growth with a focus on security and travel facilitation, crisis preparedness and management, and sustainable growth.

Speaking to the Open Ministerial Meeting at the forum, Gloria Guevara Manzo, WTTC president & CEO highlighted that technology “is the key” to meet an expected growth in demand more securely and efficiently using what ultimately is a finite resource of infrastructure, and that “biometrics is a solution” which is already being used around the world. “I invite ministers of transport to partner with us to speed up the adoption of biometrics, and together we can ensure that more jobs are created,” she said.

Travel and Tourism generates 10.4% of the world’s GDP and creates 313 million jobs, according to WTTC insight and Transport, including aviation, maritime, road and rail, is defined as “fundamental” to the sector’s success. IATA is forecasting a rise from 4 billion annual passengers now to 7.8 billion over the next ten years, UNWTO estimates global international arrivals to rise from 1.3 to 1.8 billion by 2030. 

“This growth poses a challenge not only to infrastructure capacity but also how to ensure these travellers can be processed efficiently and securely,” explained Ms Guevara. “In order for us to achieve this growth and create jobs, we need to work together to find solutions which increase capacity, enhance customer experience and ensure security.” 

Just last month at its 18th annual WTTC Global Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ms Guevara warned that there was a clear threat to job creation around the world if Travel & Tourism was not made more seamless, sustainable and resilient. A growing industry that outpaced the global economy in 2017 (growth of +4.6% compared to 3%) and responsible for 1 in 5 of all new jobs, she questioned how the industry would be be able to deliver on the expected growth that by 2028 will see Travel & Tourism responsible for 11.4% of the world’s GDP and 1 in 9 global jobs.

She urged the industry to look carefully at how it is responding to a changing world where the future of work is impacted by technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning and new business models, and urged companies to be forward-thinking in their solutions to ‘create a future together’.

Ms Guevara called for a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors to maximise tourism growth, with a specific focus on three priority areas as identified by WTTC Members: security and travel facilitation, crisis preparedness and management, and sustainable growth. She highlighted that unless these challenges “are addressed, and tourism becomes more seamless, sustainable and resilient, jobs around the world will be at risk”.

The priorities she outlined included:

  • Harmonisation of approaches to implement biometrics across the travel system, to increase security, increase efficiency and create more jobs;
  • Integration of the private sector into crisis preparation and management to ensure a more co-ordinated response and increase resilience in the face of natural disasters, health pandemics and terrorist threats;
  • Long-term planning and community engagement to ensure that tourism growth is inclusive and to address potential overcrowding.

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