MADRID: In International border crossing, the implementation of biometric technology to facilitate secure borders is the single biggest opportunity for the Travel & Tourism sector in 2018, according to Gloria Guevara Manzo, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
Ms Guevara also highlighted the importance of developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning, virtual and augmented reality and changing demographics, particularly the ‘coming of age’ of millennial and growth of Generation Z, for Travel & Tourism.
Speaking at the 9th Executur Tourism Leadership Forum in Madrid, Spain, during the ongoing FITUR trade show, Ms Guevara said, “Biometric technology has been evolving over many years and we have seen gradual implementation across the sector for some time. However, in order for the step change which needs to happen to improve security and create jobs through increased tourism flows, there is an urgent need to speed up implementation.”
“The resolution of the UN Security Council at the end of 2017 which mandates all governments to employ biometric security for counter terrorism activity provides an excellent opportunity for all stakeholders to come together. In line with the work ICAO has been doing over many years, the Travel & Tourism sector needs to work with governments and security agencies to agree a standard approach which can be deployed across the Travel & Tourism system.”
“This will take a huge effort of collaboration with considerable challenges to be overcome, particularly around the security and sharing of data and privacy issues. However, I believe that now is the time to come together so that, while ensuring our world is secure, people around the world can continue to enjoy the personal, social and economic benefits of travelling.”
Biometrics and travel security will be addressed during the upcoming WTTC Global Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 18-19 April 2018.