“Biometrics will work at every touchpoint of the journey to make travelling easier for the passenger while providing border services with greater security.” – Gloria Guevara, President, WTTC
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced the first big step in its “Seamless Traveller Journey” initiative, which is aimed at using biometrics and other innovative technologies to make air travel smoother and more efficient. The organization is working with stakeholders on a pilot project that will see biometrics used to identify travellers from airline booking to car rental and hotel rental at their destination.
The trial, slated to take place in the first half of next year, is being organized in collaboration with American Airlines, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the Hilton hotel chain, and MSC Cruises, and will be concerned with round trip journeys to and from Dallas Fort worth as well as London. The WTTC says it has also invited the US Customs and Border Protection agency and the UK Border Agency to participate.
A number of details have yet to be hammered out, but in a statement announcing the pilot project, WTTC President Gloria Guevara made its overall aim clear. “Our vision is that the traveller won’t need to provide the same information or passport multiple times,” she said, adding later, “Biometrics will work at every touchpoint of the journey to make travelling easier for the passenger while providing border services with greater security.”
The project’s announcement comes after the WTTC’s announcement this past spring that it had teamed up with the International Air Transport Association to develop biometric passenger identity solutions, with IATA’s “One ID” initiative offering considerable overlap with the WTTC’s Seamless Traveller Journey program.
It also arrives at a time of growing activity among major global airports to implement biometric ‘curb-to-gate’ passenger processing systems, while government authorities increasingly look to biometric screening to improve border security. For its part, the CBP is a pioneering agency in the latter area, and has proven to be a ready and willing partner with the private sector, so there is a fair chance that the organization will take up the WTTC’s invitation to participate in next year’s project.
October 31, 2018 – by Alex Perala