SITA today announced that to support the recovery of the travel industry, it will make its Digital Travel Declaration solution – which allows passengers to share required travel and health documentation with governments ahead of travel – available to governments free of charge globally. This is aimed at addressing the global challenge of submitting and verifying health documentation which remains a major impediment to the recovery of the global travel industry.
Recent research from IATA highlighted that of 50 countries surveyed, 38 countries had some form of COVID-19 restriction on who could enter. For many countries, economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic relies heavily on travel and tourism. According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, in 2019 travel and tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs, making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs. However, inefficiencies and a lack of common standards around managing health documentation remain the single biggest obstacle to rebuilding the travel and tourism industry and supporting economic growth.
David Lavorel, CEO of SITA AT AIRPORTS AND BORDERS, said: “In many cases, today’s onerous health requirements are discouraging travelers from flying or leading to long lines at airports. As an industry-owned organization working at the crossroads of airlines, airports, and governments, we are able to connect the dots and streamline processes around health documentation. Making Digital Travel Declaration freely available to governments will be an investment in the recovery of our industry, and we hope will go some way towards addressing the challenges we all face today.”
SITA has worked closely with governments, leveraging its Electronic Travel Authorization solution to deliver a health-oriented travel declaration that informs governments on passenger health status in advance of travel and optionally issues authority to travel. Digital Travel Declaration has been operational and used by governments around the world since October 2020, making it easy for travelers to complete health declarations in a few quick steps. A response is shared as proof of approval to travel, so the passenger can demonstrate to airlines and airports that they have all the correct documentation.
SITA has been at the forefront of travel authorization technology for 25 years, enabling governments and airlines to maximize both safety and revenue through increased security, operational efficiency, and traveler satisfaction. Based on this proven solution, and to further support the recovery of the travel sector, SITA is offering the entry level configuration of its Digital Travel Declaration solution free of charge to all governments for a period of 12 months.
While SITA’s Digital Travel Declaration addresses the current health documentation required during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be used to streamline the introduction of other travel requirements, such as future pandemics, local health concerns, or more traditional security and immigration travel authorizations.