Aviation firm improves access to health travel documentation

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To aid the recovery of the travel sector, air transport industry communications and IT provider, SITA, is making its electronic health-oriented travel declaration available to governments across the globe.

Named the Digital Travel Declaration, the solution allows passengers to share required documentation with governments ahead of travel, for approval.

SITA highlights that health documentation remains a major impediment to the recovery of the travel industry, which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, SITA says the solution is being made available free of charge to all governments for a period of 12 months.

Digitalising the verification of health documentation will reduce congestion, minimise passenger stress, and allow governments to open their borders in a secure and safe manner, it notes.

"In many cases, today's onerous health requirements are discouraging travellers from flying, or leading to long lines at airports,” says David Lavorel, CEO of SITA at airports and borders.

“As an industry-owned organisation 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."

A 2020 report by the World Travel and Tourism Council indicates that in 2019, travel and tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs, making a 10.3% contribution to global gross domestic product, and generating one in four of all new jobs.

For many countries, economic recovery from the pandemic relies heavily on travel and tourism, according to research.

While the Digital Travel Declaration addresses the current health documentation required during the COVID-19 pandemic, SITA notes 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 authorisations.

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